Life at Tenwek

worship band
Jason (right) playing guitar is a young surgeon
 teaching here in his first year after residency.

Sunday I was invited to breakfast at Barbara Pinkley's home. She's a career missionary who teaches in the nursing school. Homes are not big here by American standards so there were about ten of us tucked around a cozy little dining table. It was quite nice - made me think my dining room at home is way too big! Actually, my entire house is way too big! We then went to worship at the Church on the Tenwek campus. By African standards, it was pretty short at 2 hours. I was invited back to the orphanage for worship but couldn't make it - which is probably good because they ask their visitors to preach!

Kenyan food
The pumpkin mashed
 potatoes were the best!

Monday was a mix of operating in the morning, a short lull in the early afternoon followed by chaos! I ended up back in the operating room for a biopsy on a man who we'll likely be doing a laryngectomy on soon. We nearly lost him on the table thanks to some bad medicine - which I'll post a story or two on soon! Today was clinic day but I managed to find myself in the OR for three short cases. I had lunch at one of the national's homes where I had a dish they just call "mash." Basically it's a delicious mix of pumpkin and mashed potatoes. Some cabbage, flat bread and chicken over rice gave me plenty of fuel for another chaotic afternoon. Tuesday clinic here is a madhouse. Patients wait for hours and some loose their patience and get angry. But, they are never angry in English, so I don't know exactly what they're yelling. Swahili and Kipsigi sound the same to my ears. There are 58 different languages spoken here in Kenya. The least educated speak only their tribal language. The next group speaks their tribal and Kiswahili while the most educated 20% or so speak tribal, Kiswahili and English. Most children in boarding schools and higher end schools are learning English- a great investment in the future of Kenya!

guest apartment complex
My one room apartment is the second from the left
on the second floor.

I'm staying at the guest house on the hospital grounds. I love being so close to the hospital but ordinary things of life are little harder here.I sleep under a mosquito net, so I won't get malaria. I have to brush my teeth using bottled water so I won't get dysentery. There's running water thats safe to wash your hands or shower in (providing you keep your mouth closed) but you can't drink it. The shower varies from lukewarm to very lukewarm. I've yet to turn on the cold water for a shower which flows at a small slow trickle - feels like you're showering under a drinking fountain. The water will turn your whites a slight brown so I made sure to bring colored shirts. You can eat vegetables as long as they are cooked. Raw vegetables and fruits you can't peel, like grapes, are off limits. But the bananas are so sweet and the pineapples are unbeleviable. Last week, for the first time ever, I ate an entire pineapple at one sitting. I intended to just cut it up and share it later but one bite just led to another... I don't know if there's such a thing as pineapple toxicity, but if there is I'm risking it! I finished the last pineapple in the kitchen last night and five more appeared today! The guesthouse cook is named Livingstone and made this guacamole that was the best I've ever had by far! Well, tomorrow starts with rounds and devotion followed by surgery all day. Tomorrow evening is bible study with the residents. What a great day that lies ahead!

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24