A Kenyan Birthday

 1 July in Miwani, Kenya.  Thinking I would have a quiet peaceful day, but so far it seems not to be that way.  Still taking it all in.

At 0530 Kenya time I got a text from a new Sikh friend whom I met here in February.  "Respected Bro, wishing you a very happy & blessed b'day. The Lord bestow his blessings on you with happiness. Good health this auspicious day and years to come always. Johnny and family"  Then two hours later a call from him as well.  He and his three daughters are cooking Indian food to bring over to feast with us this evening in further celebration of the day.  

Then after church I seemed to have a line of people waiting to greet me.  Last Sunday was an introduction to many, and making again friendships with others.  This Sunday had several asking me directly for money to pay for their medicines, or healthcare, or food for family, or funds to start a business.  More overwhelmed with the need, and how little so many people have.  One mother with her 2 year old who has had malaria several times, now again with intermittent fever and cough with scleral icterus (jaundice) and dark urine.  All I could do was tell her I would read about this and try to educate myself on what it may be (will do that shortly).  Most seemed to think having met me once or twice, I now would be more sympathetic to their plight and give money.  It is hard to say no when my wallet is basically empty, and my heart is full.

A visiting pastor asked me to please start a medical clinic near his home of Port Victoria, Kenya.  Apparently there is a lack of medical care in his area as well.

Last, another family wanted to greet me in the church afterwards.  Thinking this again might be another financial assistance request, but no.  A widower whom we met this week, teaching pre-school in Miwani who is barely surviving I am certain (whom herself was injured falling from a Piki-Piki in 2009 and walks with a bad limp), had brought me a gift.  A colorful chicken.  A birthday chicken!  The cost for her to give that up for me, likely incalculable.  I thought of the Bible story of the widows coin - giving nearly all she had back to the church.  In this case her thankfulness for our being here and helping with a survey to study the health of the local people.  

So it is barely noon, and I am already overwhelmed by the generosity of those around me.  

More to report.

So a final update on the day's events.  Our entire group had a wonderful Indian dinner with Johnny and his family, including a traditional Kenyan beer they brought for me - Tusker.  Chocolate chip cookies put together from no-standard ingredients and baked by Hannah Berkimer were outstanding.  Overall a restful day spent with friends from the southern and northern hemispheres.

Last, medically - the 2 year old likely has recurrent malaria given the mild jaundice and ongoing illness from mother's report.  I suspect they have no mosquito net, though did ask her that and got a puzzled look only.  According to the CDC malaria website, mild jaundice is common.

Tomorrow we start training for the survey trial with 2 nurses coming from Siaya.  The days following that we will survey mostly on foot around Nehemiah.  All for now.

Trackbacks (0) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
Comments (0) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end