August 5th: We spent the last day of our last weekend in Kendu Bay doing a circumnavigational walk of the hospital compound in the morning, as well as plenty of kitchen endeavors – some of which were exploratory to further our Kenyan cooking skills! We’ve learned lots in all aspects of life in Kenya, so far!
Photo: One of the fields in the hospital compound.
Today was spent again in the financial department of the hospital, continuing various tasks. Many of the staff have become quite used to us around the office and are expressing their wishes that we should stay for longer – much longer! We might as well just move in down the road and become permanent members of the hospital compound, according to them. We are happy to know that they appreciate our help here for the past month. We also discovered bananas growing behind the church today! Yummy, and so local!
Photo: The (wooden) plaque at the entrance to the hospital – this place is coming up on 100 years.
August 7th: In the morning, we assisted with data entry from inventorying of the pharmacy and other hospital supplies last week. In the afternoon, we continued in the business office working on file reconciliation amongst other small tasks. We are also beginning to say goodbye to our newly made friends here in Kendu Bay as we are leaving at the end of the week.
Photo: Celena enjoy the sunset from our guesthouse dining room window.
August 8th: Today was spent mainly gathering, sorting and packaging all the clothing that was received as donations to go to Turkana. It became quite the procedure and we were glad to successfully inventory and pack everything, as well as fit them all into one vehicle that was traveling the many hours by road to this northwestern region of Kenya. It is incredible to us that the people we are hear assisting – because it was identified as a place of need – have such generosity in their hearts and so much to give to other Kenyans in need. We are also hopeful, that although small, we have now been able to have a positive impact in another community in Kenya, although our physical presence remains elsewhere.
Photo: Celena and Kiri with representatives of the Kendu Adventist Hospital and all the donated items packed to go to Turkana.
Today was our last full day here in Kendu Bay and we spent it in the finance office. It was a bit of a slow day, but we finally got all the records together for the reconciliations that we have been working on. It was nice to be able to get that job finished before we leave. In the evening we packed up all our things to get ready for our trip to Nakuru tomorrow.
Photo: The entrance to Kendu Adventist Hospital.
In our five and a half weeks here in Kendu Bay we have been lucky to have so many different opportunities that have been great learning experiences for us. We are moving on now, with some sadness but also excitement for our next stop in Nakuru. Since we are leaving we have decided to share one highlight from the many thoughts that struck both of us while we have been here but didn’t make it into any of our daily reports. It comes from our time spent at the Nyaburi Integrated School assisting with physio. The children live in simple conditions, making do with very little. In the dormitories each child has only a box no bigger than a medium-sized duffle bag to hold all their belongings, and even what they have is sometimes in poor condition. It wasn’t unusual to see pants held up by strings or a dress with a seam half ripped open. And on top of that they all have disabilities to deal with, which to varying degrees affect their ability to do things for themselves. But yet, these children have joy that just radiates from them. They depend on each other for help and friendship and through those needs have formed a beautiful community together. Eventually, we were struck by the phrase: “What’s wrong with them?” It’s a simple enough phrase, just seeking a diagnosis, but in seeing these kids we realized just how off-base it is. Their disabilities are struggles, or challenges, but these children do not allow their disabilities to become something that is “wrong” with them. In fact, in the short time we had with them, the children proved to us time and time again that there is so much more that is right about them.
August 10th: Today we departed from Kendu Bay, after a heartfelt and surprise farewell gathering first thing in the morning, with cake even! We feel very humbled to have made such companionships at the Kendu Adventist Hospital that they would plan this for us. Many memories will remain with us from this place. We drove with Lawrence to Nakuru, and arrived at our next guesthouse for lunch. Regina, the mother at the children’s home where we will be helping during our last days in Kenya, was there to meet us. After we had eaten, we walked with her to the Kadesh home. The orphanage is set up as a family home, and the twelve children that live there are all treated as children of the family. Four of the children have special needs – three with cerebral palsy of varying degrees, and one with autism – but these children are treated as equals and their differences are celebrated. There are also four women who work there – ‘aunts’ – and all the adults are caring and patient people. We are happy with our introduction so far to the family, and time spent playing with the children and assisting with care for the babies and are looking forward to the days we have left with the family.
Photo: Celena and Kiri with the members of the hospital business office before departing for Nakuru.
August 11th: This morning was beautiful and sunny so once we got to the Kadesh home we went outside with the children to play. We tossed balls around with the children and watched as a lineup formed for the slide. Before lunch we had a bit of time to relax inside, although I’m not sure if relax is the right word with twelve energetic children around! We ate lunch with all the children and then the afternoon went much like the morning. We went outside to play and then came back in to play and watch some cartoons inside. It was a good day and we were quite tired out by the time we made our way back to the guesthouse for the evening. It seems that in this household for the short time that we are here, doing activities with the children is most helpful so that the permanent adults can get other household chores done in some much needed semi-peace-and-quiet.
Photo: Several of the children at the Kadesh home.