The day started in an unusual way, to the sound of someone power washing the outside walls and the noisy talk and clattering tubs of the laundry people, all about 5:30 am. When we went down to the dining room, it was dark, and no one was around. I guess the staff was pretty tired this morning, too. Our team was dragging.
It was a pleasant ride to the church because the road had been graded. The people waiting with numbers from last night were orderly, at least to start. I could tell we were in trouble, though. Even though we worked hard to cap today's number, there were just too many there already. And people started calling in favors. The bishop's friends from Tanzania. Students from the boarding school next door. A mother with a sick child. And of course, all of them are “not well.”
Forgive my cynicism, but most of the people were perfectly fine, suffering a few aches and pains that I would consider normal. But because white American “doctors” had come, everyone was ill and needed to see them. So much so that they started arriving at 5 am to get in line.
The people in line quickly devised ways to hack the system. Single adults from the day before suddenly had four children in tow. Others forged numbers to try and get a place in line. A promise of only ten students grew to sixteen. Yes, my compassion lagged and my annoyance grew.
Members of the team had brought toothbrushes and toothpaste, with the hopes of doing a little dental education. Didn't happen. As the day drew to a close, I decided to just give them away to those watching. The first batch I gave out went fine. The second bag of toothbrushes was torn from my hand as a mob literally fought to get their hands on them. I doubt if some even knew what they were grabbing. The dental clinic was over. No way I was going back in there.
We got to see some ver interesting conditions again today. I prayed with several moms whose children were very, very sick. I wish we could have filtered out the ” not feeling well” people to spend time with those who really needed some extraordinary care. But how do you do that?
At the end of the day, we saw those from the church who had helped us during the week, so we didn't get done and packed up till nearly 7 pm. After supper, we saw the hotel staff before we finally called the clinic “closed.”
Tomorrow we head to Nairobi, and some of us will split off for a safari, while a few head home. Time to relax a little now and decompress.