January 14, 2019
We’ve just finished breakfast on the veranda at Lake Elementatia Lodge. All is well. We had no issues getting our baggage through customs.
We drove to Naivasha yesterday for a good lunch. Lenni and Kelvin went ahead after lunch to scout out the clinic space at the school while the others enjoyed a boat safari. That seemed very positive for them all. We got set up fairly well at the school and are trying to get there by 8:00 this morning. Eva and Dr. Omurawa should be there. The Head Teacher was very helpful yesterday, and we left all in the charge of two armed guards.
January 15, 2019
Today is our first clinic at Gilgil Township School. The new generator is working well and there have been no mechanical issues with anything today. 36 children were treated. We had a local dentist observing and participating. The team is working hard and is starting to gel – we packed up in under an hour today!
We were urged to be back at the hotel by 6:00 pm this evening in light of the presumed terrorist attack in Nairobi, but we took some time to stop at the Children’s Home in Gilgil where Evarlyn is the director. It’s quite an impressive place – well funded, in part, by a British group, in addition to the Chalice Organization. We will be moving on to Kericho tomorrow.
January 16, 2019
Today we traveled from Gilgil to Kericho. After a pleasant stay in the Jacaranda Hotel, we “escaped” to have lunch at a beautiful arboretum. We also had a tour of the Toror Tea Factory – now, we can truly appreciate the work that goes into preparing a cup of tea! We’re planning on an early start tomorrow so we can get set up at Momoniat Health Centre for our next clinic. We’re looking forward to helping as many community members as possible.
January 17, 2019
A Better World Canada can be proud of its dental team! Today was the first of two at the government-owned Momoniat Health Centre, in the district of the Honorable MP Joseph Limo and his wife Beatrice, friends of A Better World. We are grateful for their support in organizing this clinic and for Beatrice’s presence to translate when needed during the day. We saw many dental issues, one of them pictured to the left.
We ended the day with a celebration of African culture and Janice’s birthday.
January 18, 2019
Our second day at Momoniat Health Centre was much the same as the first, except this time we packed everything up in the late afternoon. Around mid-day we had to troubleshoot a technical problem with one of the suction lines but were back up to full speed after an hour or so. You can see how organized the dental assistants are!
January 19, 2019
Today was a travel day as we left the tea-growing district around Kericho and moved on to Oloolaimutia on the southeast corner of the Mara National Reserve. The highlight of the day was a stop for lunch at Olarro Resort with its grand view over the Mara.
January 20, 2019
Our drivers were awake for much of the night trying to solve the dilemma of how to get the team to today’s clinic in Naikarra. The problem began with a thunderstorm shortly after we had checked into Enkorok Mara Camp last evening, with rain that continued through much of the night. They knew that their vans could not make the 1.5 hour drive through the inevitable mud along the road, although they had planned ahead enough to send our equipment van straight to Naikarra yesterday. Beginning their attempts at 4:00 a.m. they were eventually able to hire two Land Cruisers with local drivers ready for our planned 6:30 a.m. departure.
January 21, 2019
We weren’t too concerned about the rain that fell again through the night because we knew we had only a five-minute drive to our clinic site at the Deliverance Church in Oloolaimutia. The worst case scenario would have been to walk there from our lodge. This was the third time that we have operated at this site and were blessed again with the privilege of serving these happy people. Lenni has the triage process refined to avoid crowds congesting the entrance to the operating area. We will return in the morning.
January 22, 2019
We completed our work in Oloolaumutia after a successful morning in which we treated approximately 20 people. One gentleman hadn’t slept last night due to tooth pain; he was most grateful for our help and thought he’d be able to sleep tonight and be back at work tomorrow. The highlight of the day for Candace and Codrina was going to the weekly livestock auction, within eyesight of the church, to purchase a goat. They negotiated a good deal for a nice milker whom they named Charlie. We each contributed $5.60 to the cause and asked Juma to give the goat to a family in need. Teale apparently had a hard time saying goodbye.
January 23, 2019
There was rain again tonight but no hippo grazing across the river. It was a hot day in our operatory at the Talek Health Centre, A Better World’s signature health clinic. This was the tightest space that we have worked in on this trip but that did not prevent us from seeing over 40 patients. Although we were treated to a catered lunch under the trees we were exhausted by 4:00 pm, so we shut down a bit earlier than we had planned. Most of the team members enjoyed a relaxing swim in the pool back at Riverside Mara Camp before supper.
January 24, 2019
We took a break mid-morning on our final day of holding clinics to visit the children at Loigero Primary School where we were treated to traditional Maasai song and dance. This is the first school that A Better World Canada supported after our co-founder Eric Rajah saw children in this area being taught in the shade of a tree. After visiting Loigero Primary, we went on to visit a Maasai village where we were concerned by smoke from cooking fires in the dark houses. The Maasai taught Kyle how to make fire in a traditional way – the Hand Drill (pictured to the left).
January 25, 2019
Our treat today was a drive through the Mara National Reserve in safari mode (roof up), the now traditional ‘bush lunch’ on the banks of the Mara River, then checking-in to the luxury Mara Serena Safari Lodge. The Mara is greener than usual at this time of year so beautiful vistas prevailed for the animal photographs. The evening concluded with our driver appreciation event in which Lawrence and Peter (Raphael left for Nairobi this morning) were thanked for their care for our well-being. The success of A Better World trips is dependent upon their diligent driving and intimate knowledge of the social, political and natural environments.
January 26, 2019
We have all been delivered safely and on time to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Now it is up to the airlines to get us home. Our day began with an early, cool start for the three-hour drive back across the Mara plains. In addition to the usual animals we managed to see another cheetah and three lions, including a huge male. Otherwise an uneventful trip to Nairobi with the usual relief once we got to the paved road. So ends the sixth A Better World clinical dentistry trip to this diverse country. A big thank you to Eric Rajah for coordinating the travel logistics and to our faithful drivers for pulling it off. We are grateful for the opportunity to have served these people.
The team safely landed back home in Canada and A Better World would like to sincerely thank them for their service. These wonderful people dedicated their own time and money toward helping others and they’ve made an irreplaceable difference in the lives of men, women, and children in Kenya.
We would also like to give a special thank you to our Trip Leader, Dental Service Manager and Secretary for the Board of Directors, Dr. Kelvin Hill from Sylvan Lake Dental Center. Not only did he lead the trip and support all the volunteers, he took the time to write each of the blogs and send pictures – every single day. His effort is greatly appreciated.
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