Today, we woke up early to head to the Ark. The Ark is in the Aberdare National Park, which is home to over 2000 elephants. The Ark puts salt into the ground to attract the local wildlife that includes; warthogs, hyenas, several types of apes, and the big 5 ( lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, and the rhino) So far, we have only spotted one of the “Big 5”, which was the elephant. All of us have been really excited about seeing the wildlife and continue looking forward to seeing more rare animals.
We were very sad to be leaving Chogoria this morning. Last night, we had a fantastic dinner and were in great company! Grace, Leonard, JoAnn, Catherine, Annis, Millicent, Garama, David, Anastasia and everyone else in attendance made us feel so welcomed. Their departing gift was a Masaai blanket for all of us. We have learned so much from them and we are thankful for their hospitality. We admire their passion and drive to help those in need. We are honored to have been in such good company for our entire hospital stay and to have created great friendships.
Attempting to ride a motorcycle was not something Shenae wishes she signed up for.
This past Friday we were able to spend some time with our dear friend Millicent and the children of the Faraja Family Resource Center. The children did not waste any time with proper introductions, they came to play! We brought bubbles, jump ropes, crayons, balls and stickers. We also constructed rattles out of water bottles and filled them with beads, sequins and pom poms. After playing and getting to know the children we served snacks and then they sang us songs. It was great to hear all of their enthusiastic voices and dancing!
Today we distributed pads in Mikui. There were 150 girls that walked for more than an hour from three different schools. We broke off into small groups. Some of the girls were very shy and others were very happy to sing and play games with us. We were able to distribute 3 pads and 3 pairs of panties for each girl. All of the girls were very happy to recieve pads and panties. Their teachers had said that they had never gotten to take anything home from school before.
Sorry we haven’t updated in a few days we have been busy at the hospital, and sorting pads and underwear. On Monday we were at the hospital, but there were not very many patients because it was a national holiday. Even with no mothers in active labor, Britny was still able to do a sterile vaginal exam! On Tuesday Britny and Dani went out into the community with palliative care, while Shenae and Rachel went to the surgical theater and were able to observe an excision and mass removal, a tension band wiring of the patella, and a C-section. Today, we started distributing pads to girls in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. They were very excited for us to teach and empower them, and of course for the pads and underwear. We will be visiting one more location, with around 300 more girls tomorrow!
Yesterday we went up into the Kenyan National Forest to go and see the tea fields. We had a very bumpy ride in a Land Rover from World War II on our way up. We had to get out several times and walk up the giant hills to avoid rolling back down, which happened twice. Everything was so green and beautiful. We were asked to name a calf and it’s name is Dakota. Millicent, a public health nurse who will be helping us with pad distribution later this week, invited us to supper at her house with her husband and daughter. We got the chance to visit with her and ask her questions that had come up throughout our first week in Chogoria. She was able to give us insight into the Kenyan culture and we all really enjoyed our time spent with her. Today we went to the English church service for Easter and spent time walking around the shops. We also got to buy our first souvenirs from a man who set up his shop in front of the guesthouse. Happy Easter from Kenya!!