Heartbreaks, health education, goat sacrifices and baby namesakes
Well, what a week! On one extreme, we've had the heartbreak of witnessing a little albino patient covered in brusies from a suspected beating, treating some of the most severe club foot deformities and burns contractures I've seen to date and trying to break the news to my patient's family that she wont walk again. Adam also saw children at a school being caned. On the other end of the scale, we've had our gardener's baby born... and named Zacharia after Zachary. We were so touched. He's such a little cutie- born in the hospital but they were discharged about 15 hours later!! Poor mum was still so exhausted. Meshak (the father) was in such a state of nervous excitement when he was briefly allowed in to visit that he forgot to ask the sex of the baby and had to check with one of the other women in the ward!
The bore drillers in our yard struck water yesterday which was cause for great excitment (not that it seems to have stopped their machine from spewing out exhaust fumes though!). Our landlord- true to his word- slaughtered a goat on the spot where the water was found (once our lawn) and roasted it in a celebratory feast for all to share. Thankfully- I was picking up the new baby and family from the hospital at the sacrificial moment. Not sure I could quite stomch it! Zoe was fascinated by the whole concept and was most distressed that we might not get back in time to eat it. Didn't have the heart to tell Zachary what he was eating as he really adored cuddling the little baby goat at the Maasai visit a few weeks ago.
This week we also helped organise 2 half days of health education for Maasai villagers from the areas where Adam is teaching English. We got our landlord to speak as he is a doctor, he's Maasai and very qualifed in community development and preventative health care. He grew up in a local village and speaks Maasai, Swahili and English so was perfect. He covered everything from AIDS prevention to female genital mutilation to birthing and getting help for people with deformities/disabilities (so often hidden away in shame). He encouraged the attendees to go home and educate others to help disperse the information- so a train the trainer type model. It was great and so much more effective coming from someone who is "one of them" rather than us. At the end, they presented him with a hand woven cloth decorated with beads and all placed their hands on his head in a circle and prayed. He was so overcome with emotion, that he cried and cried. We hope these sessions are the first of many.