I want to start off this post by thanking everyone for all of the comments. It's really nice that you're all interested and following along with everything here, and it really means a lot to me!
I've spent a lot of time thinking about everything that happened in the beginning of last week, and of course asking the typical 'why' and 'how' questions. Although I don't think there is ever going to be a real concrete questions as to why anyone should have to endure such suffering, the days following last Wednesday helped me come to some realizations. As Thursday started, I felt a whole new kind of closeness to the other workers in the clinic. For the first time, I didn't feel like a bystander who was just there to watch and witness as everyone else worked around me to try and calm the chaos. Rather, I felt like an accepted and perhaps even wanted member of a team. It was a whole new sense of closeness and commaradarie with the other workers in the clinic, and also gave me that feeling of purpose and reason that I have been seeking since I got here. They left the child immunization clinic entirely up to Lisa and I on Thursday, which aside from some language difficulties we are able to run on our own at this point. Then Thursday afternoon the nurses invited us in to assist with our first delivery, which was really incredible. At that point we kind of went back to being bystanders, as our role was mostly just to encourage the mother and run small errands. Afterwards they asked us if we would be okay with doing the next delivery on our own, and we kindly told them that that was simply insane!
Saturday was a great day. We decided to throw a fourth of July celebration for all of the friends we have made here. We made an hour and a half trek to a large grocery store that carries some Western food. They kindly charge Western prices for Western food, but we were really excited about the opportunity to thank everyone who has been so hospitable while we have been here, so we just decided to turn a blind eye and buy all the goods we could! We served the typical American fourth of july meal: Burgers and Hotdogs. We had all of Anne's (our housecook) family over, as well as the family of the woman who does our laundry, and our friends from the clinic. We set up a really great picnic outside and everyone stayed until late in the evening. One of the guys who came had just returned from working in Taiwan, and so we got all hyped that he said he was going to bring a few fireworks. Now, we spent 45 minutes debating whether or not to do these fireworks because the people were so worried about Kenyan police being called and us getting arrested and going to Kenyan jail. Since we're out in the middle of nowhere, I think it would have been impossible, so we finally convinced them to do the fireworks. They turned out to be two small fountains that did not even go above the height of the fence and lasted about 20 seconds each. Obviously nothing that anyone could have even heard or seen in the neighborhood, yet they were THAT scared about going to Kenyan jail. I think that gives a bit of an idea of just HOW bad the jail here is. Yikes. . .
Now for the irony of our baby delivery situation. . . Today we were very short staffed in the clinic. Lisa (my roommate) was sick and had to stay home, and our normal Sister in charge was also gone. Of course Mondays are our busiest days with the immunization clinics and also a nearby Maasai market brings in many many of our Maasai patients on Mondays (which also makes the days quite fascinating). Anyways - the midwife, Jeni, and myself were running around like crazy people trying to get through our child immunization clinic, manage the ante-natal clinic, and also keeping an eye of our one mother who was in labor. At one point, Jeni took a short break and I just happened to go in and check on our laboring mother, who was having increasing contractions. I immediately went and got Jeni and we realized that the mother was going to deliver any minute. So Jeni and I literally threw on gowns and gloves and delivered the baby right there on the bed. It was so fast, we couldn't even make it to the delivery room, let alone get another nurse to assist. It was the most incredible yet scary experience yet! I was also able to cut and tie the umbilical cord, and do all of the post-delivery care. BUT, the most amazing part of it all was that the mother decided to name her child after me!!!! Obviously, Kasey is in no way an African name, so it will probably be the first Kenyan girl named Kasey, but it is still the most humbled I have ever felt! So, no matter what else I do in the week and a half I have left in Africa, I will always know that a part of my heart is going to remain here with that mother and her little girl, Kasey =)
Tot: 0.215s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 7; qc: 44; dbt: 0.0102s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb