Answers to the most frequently asked questions. . .
Where in Kenya are you going to be moving?
We’re moving to Kijabe, Kenya. It’s a small village built around a mission station established 120 years ago, about an hour northwest of Nairobi, the capital.
I’ll be working at AIC Kijabe Hospital (http://www.kijabehospital.org). It’s a 320 bed hopsital that takes care of anywhere between 50 and 100 kids on any given day. I’ll be doing all pediatrics, all the time, but I won’t just be in the ER. I’ll split my time between the nursery, the ICU, the inpatient wards, and the outpatient clinic (sometimes all four in one day :)) .
We have some big basic things, like oxygen in the wall, IVs, antibiotics, and most common medications. There are 3 ancient pediatric ventilators if we need to ventilate a kid. The needs change day to day as far as equipment, and here’s a link to some of the things the hospital needs right now. It will be very basic compared to Children’s where I work right now, but it is amazing what we can still do. There are fantastic pediatric nurses there as well and a nursing school to help train them.
I’ll still be teaching and will be working with some of the smartest, most motivated residents I have ever met. They train in pediatrics, OB, Medicine, and basic surgery while doing their residency, so we get to teach them as much as possible in the snippets and months we work with them on the Wards and in Nursery.
And, what is David going to be doing while Arianna is at the hospital?
The short answer is serve. Take care of the girls, support Arianna, and then to pitch in as needed in the community. In our month last summer, that meant bush whacking with machetes, taking photos of the hospital and staff, making connections and friendships with the Kenyan workers, and learning Swahili. Will I continue to be a professional photographer? Possibly, we will have to feel it out and decide if it is fun and worthwhile or if it is too stressful do deal with the logistics of shooting in Africa. But the skills we have learned with image making over the past decade will certainly come in handy, first and foremost, to give you a glimpse into our lives and adventures!
Are the girls excited? What are you doing for school?
Ask them next time you see them – I love watching the broad smile spread across Madeline’s face matched by Annabelle’s shy one. They’ve always been pretty laid back and up for adventure. They talk daily about what they think life will look like when we move. Kids are everywhere in the village, both missionary kids and Kenyan. It’s a idyllic place to be a child, the beautiful mountainside, endless playmates, trees to climb, safaris just an hour away. Madeline and Annabelle will attend school at RVA, or Rift Valley Academy, which is an absolutely fantastic mission school just a few minutes up the mountain from us. The students are from all over Africa (and the world), so it will be a phenomenal cultural experience and learning environment.
Are you selling your house ? What are you doing with all your things?
Yes, we’re hoping to have it on the market in March, so if you know someone looking for a great house on Alford with an attic playroom and big yard, let us know ;). It’s interesting to think about selling all of the things we’ve accumulated in the 12 year since we got married – but expect a big yard sale in the near future, and feel free to claim something if you come to visit. We’ll be taking 8 suitcases with us to Kenya and storing pictures and more personal memories, but everything else is going to be sold before we go. I might need some extra hugs this year when I take down our Christmas decorations . . .
How long will you be in Kenya?
The Samaritan’s Purse post-residency program is for two years. The design of the program is to place recent graduates in the field and give them opportunities that will pave the way for a career in medical missions. In the latter part of the program, we will start working on a transition toward a long term sending agency. We are committing to Kijabe for two years, but placing ourselves in a position to do this for the long haul, whether that is five years or fifty.
When do you leave?
End of September, 2014. We have our last few weddings booked for September, so we’ll shoot those and then jump on a plane!
How can we help?
Keep up with our journeys here. Prayers and encouragement will be our lifeblood, so please add us to your prayer list and shoot us an email from time to time! Financial donations can be made through Samaritan’s Purse or our church. As we get closer to the date of leaving, I’m sure we’ll have more specific things, but for now, keep walking alongside of us as we figure this all out.
These changes have made us more vulnerable than we have ever been and we are incredibly grateful that you are all walking with us.