Monday, October 4, 2010

Another week in Karero

It has been a busy week and I cannot believe it is already October! We are almost done painting the clinic, but we ran out of paint for the floor.  We actually bought the shop out of paint last time we were in Tanzania, but hopefully they will get more today.  We are headed back to Namanga and Tanzania today to stock up and then, hopefully, finish our project and head back to Kimana.  

It was a pretty eventful week in Karero.   The week started with an amazing rainstorm on Monday night.  It was a typical hot and windy afternoon when rain clouds suddenly blew in overhead.  Within minutes, the entire place was covered in water.  It reminded me of thunder showers in Houston where it would transition from sun to a rainy flash flood in a matter of moments.  The rain was so loud and forceful... silencing really.

A man appeared at the clinic during the storm.  A woman from his boma miles away had been laboring all day and was having pains.  Unfortunately, she could not get to the clinic by that time and we could not get to her due to the rains and the flooding.  We set out to her boma early the next morning.  Faith, Joyce, and I entered into the small dung and mud house where the woman had given birth.  She had successfully given birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl, but was still in quite a bit of pain.  Her uterus was still about 2 fingerbreadths above her umbilicus and was not contracting back to where it needed to be.  I examined the baby who looked wonderful and strong.  I cleaned her, tied the cord, and encouraged mom to breastfeed as much as possible. Joyce and I both examined mom.  Joyce gave her some oxytocin and we both massaged the uterus a bit.  By the time we left, the uterus had already started to descend.  We checked on her later that night and she was much improved, smiling, and feeling better. The baby was breastfeeding well.  We were incredibly happy and thankful that they both survived the experience and were recovering.  They asked us to give the baby an English name.  We named her  “Mary.”  I think the name holds great strength.  

I  have much to learn about this traditional Maasai community, but over the last few weeks I have come to believe that the women possess great strength and fortitude.   I am still processing the complexities and challenges of its structure and gender roles.  More on this as I find the words.  We feel extremely blessed to be immersed into this community so quickly.  Working with Staff of Hope and Tyson, in particular, has allowed us to dive in and begin building relationships with the traditional Maasai community in Karero as well as the larger and more diverse communities in Kimana.  We are grateful to be able to work alongside members of the community, but also just to share in the daily flow and struggles.

More later. Must go now on the search for paint.  We miss you all and hope you are enjoying the fall.  

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