Swahili lesson: Mambo (what’s up!)

Our first weekend in Kenya has been one of many adjustments. Cattle and goat roaming the streets, mosquito nets that remind you of the princess bed you never, and my personal favourite – the squat toilets. Yes you heard me correctly we are practicing our squats.

We have done lots of driving in our 12 seater van. Our proximity to one another has not only led to physical closeness, but an interpersonal bond with these amazing women that only nurses could share.

I was asked some thought provoking questions by Johnston our Community Outreach Worker. “Is this what I thought Africa would be like?” As Canadians some have only seen Africa through the lense of a World Vision commercial, and naturally this would shape a preconcieved perception of what Africa is.

Did I think Kenya was going to be bustling with diesel fueled cars playing chicken with each other? Or that dirt roads could be washed away with one night’s rain? Did I think that families would line the street in their metal and wood shacks selling shoes, and shirts that laid on the dirt sidewalk?

As we have driven to our base camp of Kakamega, roasted corn has been thrown at our open windows, children have begged us for money, and TLC plays at the local club, steps away from our guest house.

We have our first day of clinical today/tomorrow (for those reading this 8 hours behind) and boy has preparation been a tedious one. Becca and I have meticulously organized all the wound care supplies from tape, to packing, dressings, wraps and making our own normal saline for irrigation.

We have to have our bags at the med room for 0730, so will we will finish our cream of wheat brick with hast.


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