2 years into the rest of our lives. . .
Yesterday was our two year move-i-versary, and this week showed the changes that those 2 short (and long) years have brought. . .
Wednesday, I admitted two patients referred to Kijabe by former interns I had helped train – both were complicated kids who had been identified and managed perfectly before transfer (and both would have died without Maureen and Kelvin’s advocacy.) That night, I did a midnight phone consult with Waruguru, another medical officer from last year’s class, to help her manage meningitis and seizures in a tiny baby in Western Kenya with less than ideal medicines. The baby went from not breathing to home with mom because of her innovation and vigilance. Then, Thursday, interns from last year’s class were offered 2 of the 4 positions for pediatrics residency at one of the most prestigious training programs in the country. I got an excited call from one of them within minutes of receiving the news. . .”You are going to be my colleague now,” I told her, beaming. She paused, laughed, and tried to absorb that reality. I am so excited to see the future of Kenyan pediatrics building as our interns learn to love kids and caring for them as much as I do.
My official mentee from last year came to dinner two weeks ago and sat on my couch, talking about her new job at one of our busy district hospitals. “On my first day,” she said, “the chief medical officer told me that they were going to beat the mission hospital training out of me in the first few months. They said that I would learn not to care as much or provide such a level of medical care.” Then, over the next hour, she talked excitedly about her persistence in holding to her training – about babies saved, pregnant moms managed thoughtfully through emergencies, and how the care she was providing was seeping into her colleagues’ mindset as well. She beamed as she talked about her hope to do pediatric surgery and her excitement about what she was doing in the midst of exhaustion. We sat, eating pizza, and talking so late she missed her matatu back to Nairobi, and I rested in the joy of a student becoming a friend.
David and I also shot our third Kenyan wedding last week, a beautiful day with two hospital colleagues who have become good friends. David has also been working to get the Kijabe nonprofit and board solidly in place for the next 5 months as we start our furlough in the States. He is documenting stories, running the girls back and forth to school, and coaching 26 5th and 6th grade girls in soccer on Tuesdays and Thursdays at RVA.
The girls are thriving in 2nd and 5th grade, and our youngest turns 8 this Thursday. . .we can’t wait for you to see how much they have changed. . .
Because, with the 2 year mark comes the end of our first term in Kijabe. In five short weeks, we head back to the US to give you all some huge hugs and to catch up on all that has been going on on the other side of the ocean.
Officially, we are coming back to finish raising the monthly support we need to return to Kijabe in March of 2017 with Serge. We have told the hospital we will be back for the next five years (and hopefully longer) to continue to grow roots, teach, learn, and build our lives in this beautiful place that has become our home.
If you have been thinking of joining our support team, follow the link here or below to join us on this crazy and wonderful journey. We would love to be fully funded when we land in Atlanta in November so we can focus on some bigger projects for the hospital in our time there. It’s a big goal, but we have been overwhelmed by the care and love that you have shown us this far, and we know that it’s possible. . .