As I write this, I am on my way to Kenya, to an area east of Kisumu to help with the advancement of a current medical dispensary to become a healthcare center with increased services and staffing.  I am thrilled to be a part of this!  

It should be an interesting time with its own challenges.  I Skyped with our nurse Anneliese yesterday and found she had questions of how to best treat a woman whom had been "squeezed" by a python and has evidence of crush injuries and bruising.  Also the CDC of Kenya reported yesterday an outbreak of rabies in the area east of Kisumu; and that with limited to nonexistent access to rabies vaccine and rabies immune globulin.  I will not be petting or getting close to any dogs, that is for certain.  Though monkeys, cows and even rabbits can be carriers, I find it difficult to be suspicious of them.

Here is an email I sent to my friends and family just days ago regarding the adventure.....

Dear friends and family,

I wanted to write you about an exciting adventure I am privileged to take part in!

I am leaving for Kenya tomorrow, on Weds. 2.8

For the past 2-3 months I have been meeting with leaders of Nehemiah International

They have a 130 farm just south of the equator, roughly an hour east of Kisumu, Kenya; and to date have served Kenyans in this area with an orphanage, school, church, apprentice programs, dairy farm and crop production.  “The goal [of Nehemiah International] was to create a self sustaining training environment that would impart life skills to African families and to orphaned children.”

Recently a generous donor from our area has committed funds toward the establishment of an on-site healthcare center.  Currently there exists a building, an office and a few exam rooms.  Along with a Kenyan nurse and a lab tech working on-site, an American nurse from our area has committed 2 years toward the advancement of the dispensary, to a healthcare center which would eventually provide more comprehensive care (potentially surgeries and some inpatient beds).  We hope to train community healthcare workers, and to hire additional staff as we grow to serve those in the immediate area.  There are approximately 25,000 in this area with no access to healthcare currently, with infant mortality at 170/1000 by age 1, and 275/1000 by age 5 – primarily from dehydration/diarrheal illness and malaria.  15% of the population has HIV/AIDS.  Mosquito netting, water filtration, malaria and HIV/AIDS medications and basic healthcare should make a huge impact on the health of these Kenyans.

The purpose of my trip is to meet the kind Kenyan physician who will serve as our medical director (who is able to work on-site one day per month, apart from his chief of staff duties at a Kisumu hospital), to establish connections with local villages, survey the need, and to see what organization/structure we can provide from the US to help advance the project and make a difference in the lives of the people.  I will be returning home on February 26.

I will be traveling much of the way with my dear friend Jeff Krueger who with his family lived on the farm from 2004-7.

It is our prayer that this trip my help establish a foundation for medical teams to serve at Nehemiah over the next few years, but beyond that to establish a healthcare center that will both train and employ Kenyans to serve the people of this area. 

Thank you for your prayers and thoughts!  I will make an effort to keep my blog updated, though the internet connection can be a bit sketchy.

Certainly would have never thought this possible just over 7 years ago lying in Harborview post-injury.

I certainly have much to be grateful for!!



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