October 21, 2008

Medical Mission to Malava

How do I put into words what has happened in my life during the past 14 days? I think I will start at the beginning and let you walk with me through the journey.

The team: Our team was made up of a nurse and her husband, a radiology oncologist from Atlanta, a medical technician, a medical administrator and me.

The first 48 hours of our journey was spent traveling. We boarded our flight in Atlanta around 4:00 pm Friday, October 3rd and landed in Amsterdam the morning of the 4th. With only a 3 hour layover, we just had time to move through the airport, grab a bite to eat and by 10:30 am, we were on our way to Nairobi. We arrived in Nairobi at 7:40 pm and were met by our driver who took us to the Hilton in downtown Nairobi. Don't be fooled by the name, it was not quite the same as our Atlanta Hilton, but it was a great bed and hot shower.

Sunday morning at 5:45 am, we were joined by our driver again to take us back to the airport for our final flight. By 9:00 am we were in Kisumu awaiting our ride to Malava. And what a ride it was!!! Just picture this...there were 6 of us and 12 large Rubbermaid totes stuffed full of medical supplies. Each of us had 2 carry-on bags for our personal items and clothes. The van came with a driver, assistant driver and 3 people from the Tumaini center (where we were going to work) and it was a small van. Those guys were impressive! There was not one inch of unused space on the van and we were off to the Tumaini Center. Well we did make one stop to get a new back window put in the van, but just a minor detour.

After 2 hours of rocking and rolling along pot-holes with a little pavement between them, we arrived at our final destination, Malava Kenya.