Friday, March 2, 2012

Internet has been horrible!

Hi everyone, Hello from kenya. I am attempting to blog, as the internet has been horrible lately. Nolan tells me something about an anchor chopping 2 of 3 internet cables in the ocean???? All I know is the internet is horrible. Occasionally my email will load, but I usually can't open the messages, or check facebook, or anything but see my mail. Oh, and the bank alerts pop up. Chase just wants to make sure we are secure :)
Today, I am going to make a list. I cannot begin to detail all of the different experiences we have had, so I will just try to list the BIG things, or funny, or at least things that made an impression.
1. Nolan and I spent our first two days on the medicine wards. Nolan is doing his pharmacy thing, while I am doing a quality improvement project for the one of the IU doctors here.  I am not doing any patient care, just observing, and I am sorry to admit I am happy for that. Conditions here are so bad, and they lack the most basic necessities to provide quality nursing care. Since most of you aren't in healthcare, I won't go into the details, but let me just say that while Americans complain if we have to share a room, Kenyans don't, yes don't, complain that they have to share a BED. I seen someone get bagged and coded on my first day.... she didn't make it. Nolan saw a case of pellagra. He says he saw three of the four D's of pellagra: dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, but not death. The team started the patient on a B vitamin complex. Nolan says he is unlikely to ever see a case of pellagra in the states. Imagine living in a country where all of the food is not fortified. I wish I could show you pictures for you to understand how bad it is, but they would be hard pictures to see. maybe later...
   In the few days we have been here, I have been going to Sally Test. It is an inpatient center for the children in the pediatrics ward, plus a few children who have been abandoned. While the medicine wards directly across the path are sad and full of death, this is the opposite. The children are ill, but there is so much love and caring. One little boy while play and let you carry him, no matter who you are. The caregivers tell me he was almost strangled by a stepmother and abandoned. He doesn't talk, but did clap his hands while we were singing. It was precious. I've seen a girls disfigured from burns, kids with large tumors, and kids with cancer who all smile. We have nothing to complain about.
3. Abby saw cows running on the path on her way to the hospital. Luckily they didn't trample her. Cows here are skinny!
4. We had delicious Indian food on Wednesday night out. We hear we will eat more Indian food than Kenyan. That's ok, it's wonderful!
5. We are thinking of taking a day trip on Sunday with Nolan's pharmacy peeps. ( Abby said this obviously.) We were going to go to Kakamega Forest, but the resort was booked, so we are going to Kruger farms and somewhere else. I am excited to see some of the Kenyan houses. We are in a nicer area at the IU compound and have only ventured to town, so we have seen little of how Kenyans actually live.
6. We were really craving chocolate so we made chocolate chip cookies tonight. No butter, so we just swapped in the Kenyan's favorite spread, Blue Band. Well, Blue Band makes some funny cookies. They sort of looked like pancakes because they spread! Between an odd fat and a nonadjustable gas oven, it's surprising they tasted good - but they did :)
7. We will try to post pictures tomorrow. If we move the computer, it might die, or the internet might die.
8. Mango juice: Fresh every morning... thick, but delicious
9. Scott- have not seen that River Rock restaurant. Will look next week.
10. When I went to Nicaragua, I paid about 10$ to talk to Nolan for 10-15 minutes. Do you know how much it costs here? For a 15 minute call it only cost about 60 cents. SWEET In Kenya, no one has contracts, they  just buy  minutes, similar to the track-phone system, except a much better deal. Everyone in Kenya has a cellphone, even though most are poor. In fact, one doctor said you aren't a true Kenyan unless you have two phones. Funny, but true. They have different phones to call different people. Just like Verizon vs. At&t, you get better rates in network, so they buy the cheap phones. Nolan and I each have a Kenyan phone, which is good for safety. 
11. Pray for Nolan to feel 100%. He felt sort of yucky today, and although is improving, made his wife worry! Luckily though, I feel very secure living with around 30 doctors and 10 pharmacists.

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