Tag Archives: pokot

Number 100. Where do I start?

So.  Here I am on my 100th post.  And I’m at a loss for words.

***Note:  I was at such a loss for words that there was a 4 day pause here…..

Let me start by thanking you for just stopping by and checking this site out.  I still feel like a rookie at this blogging thing, and have a lot to learn.  This started out as a creative outlet for me – a way to express all those words and thoughts that are continuously running through my brain.  The writing has been slow and arduous recently, as my life has been going at a fast and furious pace.

I know that a lot of bloggers do a “100 facts” list for their 100th post.  But I kind of got a head start on that a while ago….  (see link to that page above)  I think I will be resuming that thread shortly once I get some other things off my mind. 🙂

Lately, I’ve been preoccupied with getting ready for Kenya, traveling there, and – now – processing all that I saw and experienced while I was in that beautiful country.   There is such an amazing dichotomy that exists where I traveled.  The Pokot people have so little in terms of possessions and access to health care, education and resources.  But they inhabit some of the most beautiful land that God created.  Deep valleys, rocky, green mountains, and stars so bright and numerous that you feel like you can reach out and grab a few.  Every sunrise, sunset and vista took my breath away.

So did the people.  My heart connects so strongly with the beautiful Pokot.  Their faces tell so many stories, and I can’t get over how lovely their ebony skin, dark eyes and petit features are.  Our dorm was next to a primary school and we had a chance to spend time with some local school children each morning and after we returned from our clinics.

Here’s a video of us singing along with one of their songs:

ps: at the end of this video there’s a brief glimpse of me in my brown sweatshirt.

I also got to see these kids one day at a clinic.  Don’t you just want to give that adorable boy in the middle a big hug??? And pinch and kiss those cheeks??

We had so much fun with these kids! The one in the middle kept pointing to his image on the screen saying, Na Nee! Na Nee! (Thats me!)

We had so much fun with these kids! The one in the middle kept pointing to his image on the screen saying, "Na Nee! Na Nee!" (That's me!)

So – that’s all I have the brain power to talk about today.  I spent almost 4 hours in interviews today and need to give my mind a rest.  More to follow on that update later.  Tonight I am all talked out, friends!

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Filed under Kenya dig it?, this random life

Jet-lagged

I feel like I’m almost a little rusty at posting on this site – it’s been a few weeks since I’ve drafted a new post of any length!

I am still recovering from my travels -and trying to adjust back to Eastern Standard Time and western culture.  🙂

This trip was AMAZING! Not only was I able to spend time with the amazing Pokot people, but I was blessed to work with a wonderful team from the US.

19 Americans were on this trip.  2 of them were from Harvesters International and they led the team.  Ed Hirschman and Jonathan Lancaster are two amazing, funny, loving, talented, leaders.  More importantly: they are men of God.  Plus they are just a riot to be around.  We laughed so much every day.

I promise to work on some more detailed stories from the trip shortly.  For now the bare bones are:

We saw over 3,200 patients.

Besides dispensing meds, we also did a lot of wound care for some people.  Some minor – and some more severe.  One patient was sent to a hospital a few hours away.

Clinics were held at 12 locations in a very remote area of West Pokot.

I fell into an african toilet.

But, like I said – more details to follow shortly!

I will leave you with a few pics.

The view:

Imagine seeing this every day!

Imagine seeing this every day!

And some of the women we saw:

They called themselves the Savage Womens Club!

They called themselves the Savage Women's Club!

And a typical scene in the Pharmacy/Wound Care area:

I'm way in the background behind the Pokot mother. Proof that I actually was working sometimes! ha!

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Sticky Post – Kenya Dig it?

This is a sticky post that will stay at the top of the page from 10/4 until 10/19.  Please scroll down for daily posts about the 2008 Kenya Medical Mission Team.

I’m going to be AWOL for a short while – so I am apologizing up front for not responding to your comments, or for commenting on my regular blogs that I read.  🙂  But I have set up this site to post daily updates while I am gone.  Each day will bring a new post with that days’s scheduled events and prayer requests.

The center of our ministry area is in Kapenguria, Kenya, where Pokot Outreach Missions has a medical clinic and is building a hospital and a church.  Word on the street is that we will be spending most of our time around Mt Elgon on the Kenya-Uganda border this year.  We will be serving the people of the Pokot tribe by hosting clinics where they can receive free medical care, wound cleaning, and receive medicine.  The Pokot tribe is located in the NW area of Kenya and numbers nearly one million. They are primarily herders and keep sheep, cows, goats and – sometimes – camels.

They recently had a 7 year drought and malnurishment is rampant in that area.  Last year was a good year, with plenty of rain – enabling the Pokot to produce their best crops in nearly a decade.  That all changed this last year, though.  It started with the civil war in S Kenya following last year’s Presidential election in December.  The fighting drove up the cost of transporting food, fuel and goods.  Then there was the weather: a dry spring, followed by heavy storms that flooded what little crops they had.  It has been a debilitating year for this isolated people.

Only 1 in 5 Pokot children survive to reach age 5.

Let that sink in for a minute.  Malnurishment, parasitic disease, burns and malaria are some of the biggest causes for childhood mortality.  It’s so bad that mothers will typically have older children care for the youngest children after they have stopped nursing.  This is so that the parents don’t become too attached to their children.  This is a common site everywhere we went last year:

Children caring for their younger siblings. Isnt this girl beautiful?  This picture has haunted me for the last year..

Typical sight: Children caring for their younger siblings. Isn't this girl beautiful? This picture has haunted me for the last year..

So, check back for daily updates on what we will be doing.  And if you want more information on Pokot Outreach Mission, check out the website of their US counterpart: Harvester’s International Missions: www.him-usa.org

Now – I’m off to finish my last cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and double check my packed luggage before heading off to the airport.  See you on the 19th!

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Born Free

Jambo!

We had our unofficial first Kenya team meeting Sunday afternoon. It was so good to see friends again, most of whom I haven’t seen since last November. This last week I’ve just been awash with memories of last year’s trip. It was beautiful, and expensive, and exhausting – both mentally and physically. And yet, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I’ve already unofficially committed to this year’s trip in October.

Last year we saw about 2,800 patients over a week and 1/2 in the bush. It was about 60 degrees at night and 105-110* during the day. I didn’t speak the language. I was unaccustomed to the culture. But I was reminded each day that a smile translates easily, and a hug has the same meaning halfway across the globe. Sometimes I would just hold a patient’s hand while waiting for a translator. Or someone would hand me a ridiculously adorable baby to just hold and play with.

(sidenote: I had to learn not to be offended when children started crying at the sight of me. I looked quite different from anyone they’ve ever seen.)

The Pokot had just come out of a 7 year drought and were celebrating their first real crop in nearly a decade. The cows weren’t as gaunt as they had been previous years (so I hear). And it was a cause for praise every where we went.

I can’t wait to go back and see the Pokot. They are in my thoughts and dreams most every day. And to see the landscape – words can’t describe it’s beauty. So here’s a picture instead.

Acacia Tree

* But it was a dry heat.

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