This week essentially follows a similar routine to the previous week, as it is one that we have established and which splits our time well between places we can be of use.
July 15th: We spent most of the day just relaxing, although we did go for a walk in the direction of Lake Victoria in the afternoon. We didn’t go the full distance this walk, just down into the first valley and up the other side (the Kendu Adventist Hospital compound is at the top of a ridge running towards Lake Victoria proper and parallel with the bay area of which Kendu Bay is beside). There was a huge thunderstorm that came on suddenly in the evening, quite exciting! Good thing it’s a gas stove here, so we could cook even with the power out for hours!
Photo: The road going down into the valley from the hospital.
July 16th: Back to the finance department in the morning, to continue our lengthy project there. In the afternoon, we were at Nyaburi Integrated Primary School, for the physiotherapy period. We continued our index of children boarding at the school, as well as beginning an index of wheelchairs used by the students, in the hopes that some repairs or changes can be made where necessary. Today however, we were able to begin truly assisting with the physiotherapy for the children. We worked on stretching and strengthening with various students, one on one, working beside Daril. We also played with the children using ball games to focus on motor skills and strengthening. It’s wonderful to see the smiles on their faces, regardless of the painful moments they experience through their rehabilitation.
Photo: Celena on the right, with some of the students boarding at Nyaburi Integrated Primary School
July 17th: We went to Ruby Kraft Primary School in the morning, to finish with the labelling of the newly organized library room, in the hopes that it will remain as such. Our friend, Debbie, helped us again with the task. In the afternoon, we were back in the finance department, as per our regular schedule, however we found the missing binders, which can now be worked on. We also have fully taken on the role of our own cooking here at the guesthouse, and are glad for the many tips and tricks on Kenyan cooking that we have gained through Grace in the first weeks. The guesthouse is becoming quite a home for us, including the nightly visits by geckos and the cats and dogs and chickens that roam the yard.
Photo: The entrance to Ruby Kraft Primary School.
July 18th: Back to the finance department we went this morning, but we are steadily making progress. In the afternoon, again, we were at Nyaburi Integrated Primary School, helping with the physiotherapy. We are gaining more knowledge about the exercises and stretching for each individual student and are helping complete these alongside the professionals there. This means that more children are able to receive attention for their physical disabilities each day, which makes us feel that we are having a positive impact, albeit small and fleeting. There are also some older students who board at the school and require less attention for exercises, but who are present and help with the younger students. It is heartwarming to see the helpful relationships that exist between these peers, and the sense of community they have within their home away from home.
Photo: Older students in the physiotherapy gymnasium, helping younger students with a motor skills activity.
July 19th: We spent time in the Nyaburi Integrated Primary School’s Special Class this morning, where children unable to participate in regular classes have a place to work on learning skills depending on their physical or mental disabilities. The teacher who works with them is kind and patient, and the classroom is quiet with space for each of them to build, colour or play on tabletops. We also took a look at the garden at the school. In the afternoon, we spent our regular allotted time in the finance office, continuing our work there. There was also a sports day going on in the fields in the hospital compound for many visiting schools, hosted by Ruby Kraft Primary School. We encountered many visitors, both young and old today around the hospital grounds.
Photo: The Special Class, with many students (who we know already from physiotherapy sessions) working on activities.
July 20th: The morning again was spent working in the finance office, and we are starting to wrap up our initial large task there. In the afternoon, we proceeded down to Nyaburi Integrated School, as per usual, to assist with the physiotherapy session. We again had the opportunity to do exercises and stretching with some of the children, and are learning more about how to assist with stretching and strengthening. It’s difficult at times to see that we are causing pain to the children, as their muscles can be extremely tight or weak, but the children, as well as ourselves, understand that it is to benefit them in the long run. And there are many smiles and laughter amongst the tears.
Photo: Smiles and giggles from the children between their exercises during the physiotherapy session.
July 21st: Saturday is church day, but we had our most relaxing morning so far, with time to make pancakes (quite yummy!) before heading to church. The rest of the day, we spent resting, playing games and reading – it was very hot outside!
Photo: The Seventh Day Adventist Church within the hospital compound.