Yet another clinic day. We saw another 200 people. As we arrived, a huge mob of people was pressing against the front gates of the church. More than a few Kenyans had to do some yelling restore order and get people in line.
Once that was over, the day went smoothly. We saw a person with a traumatic amputation of a finger, a man with elephantiasis, a four year old who only weighed 14 pounds and had to be taken to the hospital, and a whole boatload of people with joint pain, stomach aches and headaches. The usually menu of complaints for a third world community.
For me it was a day of compassion fatigue, that is, when you feel more annoys than caring. It comes mostly from seeing an increase in people taking advantage of us and our resources. It's hard to say no to so many who feel like they and they family and friends must be seen without waiting in line, from the cook to the bishop. But it's necessary.
Lunch was just some banana potato soup and avocado. Supper included some really good fish along with the usual ungala, greens and rice.
We tried to limit our visits for tomorrow, but must now also see our support staff and the hotel staff. Tomorrow could be a long day.
Day three of the clinic was a lot like day two, except for the mob scene at registration. Pushing, shoving, yelling and complete chaos made it impossible to sign people in, delaying the start of the clinical day about 45 minutes. The local leaders had to kick everyone out of the church and start all over again. Hopefully we can avoid this scene tomorrow.
Kim got all of her testing done and started some needed medications, back at her triage desk by noon. We finally got our missing bag of supplies, but we suspect that someone took the batteries out of it. I helped a little in the pharmacy, didn't have a chance to play with the kids, and preached to a group of people outside the church who wouldn't be seen today.
Many church leaders come to me asking for favors. I have to consistently say no, and offer instead to just pray with them. Each has come a long way, is very ill, and needs to be seen immediately (just like everyone else). That's a tough thing to do.
Meals today included the usual eggs for breakfast, rice, eggs, ugala and peas for lunch, and chicken, greens and rice for supper. It's getting predictable. But it's good and very filling.
So today was our frustrating day – even though we saw 245, more than Tuesday. Tomorrow will be different yet, I am sure.
Day two of the clinic began much like day one, with an early bus ride out to the church and a quick clinic setup. Rev. Shaun Trump gave a morning devotion for us, and we started in. The crowds were much bigger today, with many more children.
One mother brought in her son along with doctor’s reports and a cat scan. Dr. Jon had to let her know that there’s was nothing they could do. In fact, the boy was dying and wouldn’t last long. They found me and I prayed with them and committed them to God’s care. I was very glad to hear that the child had been baptized.
We had to send many of the waiters home after lunch because we gave priority to the mothers with children. Steven, the local project coordinator, found me when the group was getting restless and had me preach a little on waiting.
As the clinic day was coming to a close, a number of local children gathered to watch. I wasn’t too busy, so I hopped the fence and ran around an adjacent field with them. It was so much fun. I’m going to get more of the team involved tomorrow.
At one point in the day, I was talking with the bishop about moms who were insisting their children were very sick to get to the front of the line. He said, “You’re right. This isn’t good. Let’s go have some sugar cane!” His brother had brought some over and he grabbed a machete and chopped off a piece for me.
Alice, the head teacher for the K-8 school adjacent to the church took me on a walking tour of her campus. She was so proud, especially of their much improved test scores last year. Each class is around 45 student, crammed into a 20×14 foot space. The school day goes from 6:30 am to 5:00 pm. Some students come early and stay late to do more reading.