May 1 – 16, 2023
Evening brought a fond farewell from our hosts at Enkorok Mara Camp, accompanied by dance and music.
Followed by our expressions of gratitude to our drivers for another safe and rewarding trip.
Farewell once again to the enchanted Maasai Mara and the beautiful people of Kenya.
Tomorrow we begin the long journey home. Kwaheri.
Today’s adventure took us to a new site for the ABW dental team, a town on the Tanzanian border where Juma has invested in a new clinic building to serve the Maasai people in this remote area. On the way we crossed the Sand River, which fortunately was not in flood stage.
A few minutes after our arrival we were ready to serve those waiting for us.
Our clinic time was cut short by rain in the area and the trip back to home base was more tricky as our drivers had to navigate around a cattle truck that had slipped off the road in the mud. A day in the life of rural Kenya.
A day off to enjoy the amazing wildlife of the Mara. One is constantly reminded of the important role that each species plays in this ecosystem.
Every child needs a little guidance! Can you spot the leopard?
From our home base at Enkorok Mara Camp it is a one-and-a-half-hour drive to Naikarra on a road that tests the integrity of any vehicle (only one van spring has needed to be changed so far). But our drivers have consistently delivered us to our destination without mishap. It was encouraging to arrive at Naikarra Health Centre to see the room designated for a dental clinic already signed as such.
What has been a storage area for years is now a freshly painted room ready for its new purpose. Our setup is only temporary, but we hope to soon have a permanent dental unit installed and services provided by a Community Oral Health Officer from the Narok County Health Department.
As our Triage Officer Janice has used her dental knowledge to consistently prioritize needs and her people skills to keep the crowds in check. There is always more need than we can meet.
Wednesday and Thursday clinics were held in the Deliverance Church in Ololaimutia, where we delivered many teeth. Many thanks to Pastor Samuel for the use of his facility, which has been a regular stop for the dental team for several years. The nearby Enkitoria Dispensary is the clinic where Juma, a long-time friend of ABW, is the Clinical Officer. It’s always good to catch up with him and affirm his devotion to serving his people.
The second morning started off differently, though, with most of the team going for an early morning balloon safari. They all seemed to think that the ‘life changing experience’ was worth the 4:00 a.m. wake-up calls.
Tomorrow we will move to the Naikarra Health Centre where ABW is planning to establish a permanent dental clinic.
Today was a travel day as we moved from Nakuru to the Mara region. All who have travelled in Kenya with ABW are familiar with the famous ‘African Massage’ that our drivers like to joke about on their rough roads. Well today’s ride took us to new heights! See the photo of what Haley’s Fitbit reported on her activity in the van! One serious rollercoaster ride.
We stopped at the Narok County Hospital to continue discussions with the Director of Health regarding our planned future introduction of dental services at the Naikarra Health Centre. While the dentists viewed the dental clinic at this referral hospital, Brenda made her way to the maternity ward where she and her hand-made hats were well received.
Our final stop was for lunch at the luxurious Olarro Lodge. This place is becoming a favourite for ABW traveling teams.
Ready to work tomorrow at the Enkitoria Dispensary.
Our second clinic site was at Mau-Summit Primary School. Why at a school? Because this is the site of a lot of ABW-sponsored activity over the past few months. We arrived just as the last six of many classrooms to be built or renovated were receiving their finishing touch. Community engagement has been high.
We returned to the Segera Mission Hospital for a second day. Once again, we were blessed to serve 25 people. Our day ended with a complete take down and pack up of the equipment in order to move to our second location.
First a night of luxury, though, at Sweetwaters Serena Camp – Latitude 00⁰ 00⁰ Equator. The next day started with a beautiful safari viewing water bufflo, elephant, gazelle, lion, zebra, and rhinoceros, all in the shadow of Mount Kenya, after which we headed to the city of Nakuru for the night. Our next clinic will be at Mau-Summit Primary School outside of Nakuru.
The team’s first clinic was at the Segera Mission Hospital outside the city of Nanyuki. After managing the logistics of set up at our new location, we served 26 people: men, women and children. We return to Segera tomorrow for a second day.
The dental team has arrived in Kenya safe and mostly sound, having had a smooth journey other than one hiccup at the Nairobi airport. Robert was pulled aside by the customs officials, and it took about an hour for him to get clearance to bring in (without tax) the dental delivery unit that was in his baggage. No matter how much we try to prepare with all the proper paperwork it’s always a bit unnerving to get through customs. So, it was a short night for all as in the morning we started our five-hour journey north of Nairobi to Nanyuki which will be our base for two nights.
The team is well qualified and most excited to get started on our mission to do what we can to help in this community. Composed of ten individuals, there are two support staff (Brenda and Gerry), three dental assistants (Ann, Haley, and Jill), one dental hygienist (Carina) and four dentists (Cliff, Janice, Kelvin, and Robert). We are looking forward to a fun yet meaningful time together over the next two weeks.