Cannot believe that tonight is our last night in Kenya!! These three weeks just flew by! I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to come to Africa and participate in this program. I’ve learned so much and met so many great people. I also think that its definitely lit the flame in me to study as hard as I can so I can get more opportunities to bring medicine and care to other places that need it. As hard as it was to go to a hospital like that every day and see the hardships that these people face in their day to day lives it was so rewarding to see the relief in their faces when we helped them. I want to do more stuff like this in the future! I would like to finish school and come more prepared so I can make an even bigger difference.
Yesterday we went to a woman’s house that we got connected to by a physician in the hospital to get henna! It was so cool, she welcomed us into her home and painted designs up our arms, across our hands and over our feet. She had an adorable daughter that loved to watch Dora even though she knew not a word of english. They had a little kitten that they were playing with and they happily showed it to us. So cute!!
The group that got henna ended up not going to the hospital, but we heard some crazy stories! There had been massacre on Wednesday where two tribes had a dispute over cows about 200 km up the coast. The tribes turned on each other with machetes and 48 people were killed consisting of 42 women and children anx 6 men. Many more had been injured, and yesterday morning a young girl had come into the hospital who had been hurt in the tragedy. She had taken a machete to the face and had slashes all the way up her arm. The people who saw her come into accident and emergency had described it as nothing they have ever seen before and the most horrifying thing they’ve seen here. Her face was ir-recognizable, her head was so badly swollen it was misshaped, and she had a gaping gash from her ear all the way across her mouth. She was in need of serious reconstructive surgery. Not only this, but her arm had a cut so deep that the head of her ulna was visible and all the tendons were cut clean through. The doctors had given it a 20 percent chance that she would keep her arm. Stories like these are incredibly hard to hear, what made it almost unbearable was the fact that they didn’t do the reconstructive surgery because she couldn’t afford it, so they just sutured her up and sent her home. She was quite unbelievable because she was still completely conscious and aware even though she obviously had lost an extreme amount of blood and it had been almost a day and a half since it happend. She was a fighter! I just wish that she could have gotten that surgery, again a situation where all we can do is sit back and say to ourselves “there is nothing we can do”.
One of the things that I have thought has been very interesting about the people and their culture here is that their emotions towards death and sorrow seem very different and almost detached. There has been many a times where our group has witnessed death in so many ways in the hospital, and its hard to keep ourselves in check when all we want to do is cry. A mother had brought in a baby that was no longer alive, and the mothers face and emotions weren’t what we were used to in the US. It doesn’t seem to even effect them. In maternity the other day on that dreaded shelf where they place babies that don’t make it there were two packages wrapped up in tape labeled with the time of death and the date they had come to the hospital. We looked at one of the dates, and immediately regretting it we found that one of the babies had been sitting there for over a day. The lives of the people here and the poverty and hardships they face everyday in the only words that I can find to describe it are : dulled because every day is a struggle.
At the same time I have never been to a place where every where we turn there is a kenyan person or child waving saying “jambo, how are you?!’ and its quite funny because sometimes thats all the english they know so no matter what our response to “how are you” is they say “I’m fine”. Little kids that we pass when walking places start little chants of “how are you” and ask for pictures. Its adorable!!
In the afternoon on thursday everyone went to old town and emptied their wallets on souvenirs and gifts for their friends and family. Everyone got some pretty great stuff! Lots of different wraps and hand carved masks!
Today we just enjoyed the sun and our last day together in the compound, and making one last trip to the cafe to use the internet and grab a delicious dessert! :)
We have a long journey back home, but we are taking home memories and lessons that will stay with us forever. This experience has been humbling and has taught me to appreciate the little things that seem so petty in our everyday lives, and to never take anything for granted because there are people halfway across the world that are grateful for even waking up every morning because of what they face in their lives. Thank you for following along on my blog! I’ll be adding more pictures and maybe some more posts to wrap things up when I get home but I’ve loved sharing this with you guys!