A tale of 5 watoto (31/12/15)
Dec31

A tale of 5 watoto (31/12/15)

We celebrated our fourth Christmas in Kijabe this year.  I had arranged with the pediatric team to work full-time caring for babies and kids for the Christmas week so that we could give some of our other clinical staff the holidays off.  A week, including Christmas Day, on the wards, nursery and ICU.  It was, as always, a season of comfort amidst grief, a season of joy. I meet baby J on December 22, born after a difficult labor...

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Angels on our bumpers (11/12/15)
Dec11

Angels on our bumpers (11/12/15)

We have days here that seem ordinary:  walk the kids to school, go to work, prepare dinner, read a book, go to bed. And we have days like yesterday, where for a moment the thin layer of the material world is peeled back and we glimpse, for a moment, the presence of angels on our bumpers and realize there’s no such thing as an “ordinary” day. Riley had one of her semi-annual visits yesterday to the...

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Thanksgiving and third-degree burns (26/11/15)
Nov26

Thanksgiving and third-degree burns (26/11/15)

We woke this morning to a holiday:  while American Thanksgiving is not observed in Kenya, Pope Francis was kind enough to arrive yesterday for a whistle-stop tour of East Africa, and so today was declared a public holiday by the President.  Hooray! However, illnesses and emergencies don’t respect political announcements, and so the work of the Hospital continued today. As I write, Mardi is in a board meeting proposing new...

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Prayer log:  Fire and four wheel drives
Oct31

Prayer log:  Fire and four wheel drives

Thank you for praying for us, and/or just being concerned with what is important to us.  Here’s a snapshot of a few things we’re grateful for in the previous month, and what we need prayer for in the coming month. Looking back… We are grateful: 1.  For the enthusiastic startup of two new spiritual formation groups:  one for women docs and one for men (1). 2.  For the launch of our new CT scanner, which is already...

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A Day in a Leaky Boat (27/10/15)
Oct27

A Day in a Leaky Boat (27/10/15)

“There’s a hole in the side of the boat.  That hole is never going to get fixed and it’s never going away and you can’t get a new boat.  This is your boat.  What you have to do is bail water out faster than it’s coming in.” – Will McAvoy, The Newsroom I have found the last month at the hospital to be tougher than usual.  Working in a resource-poor setting, sometimes events collide to make many...

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Up the creek…with all the paddles (15/10/15)
Oct15

Up the creek…with all the paddles (15/10/15)

We started sending the Hospital’s raw sewage downhill to our new wastewater treatment plant this week.  We had a few months delay between construction completion and actually “turning it on” due to lack of funds, but it’s finally underway!  Here’s a short video of Riley and Liam enjoying the, um, smell. Kijabe Hospital Sanitation Project Commissioning Oct 2015 from Andrew Steere on Vimeo. This final phase...

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Place of last resort (13/10/15)
Oct13

Place of last resort (13/10/15)

A couple of weeks ago I was down in the outpatient department when I was pulled into a room by Rachel, one of our family practice doctors. She was seeing a 14 year old young lady and wanted a second opinion. Grace* had come to us from a neighbouring country, with a chronic illness lasting for months – mouth ulcers, unable to eat, unable to gain weight. She had seen traditional healers, clinics, nurses – whoever she could...

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Dowries and risks (5/10/15)
Oct02

Dowries and risks (5/10/15)

We’ve been back in Kenya just over a month now, and it’s been a whirlwind of the usual reconnecting, immune systems recovering from changing continents (not a pretty sight), getting back into the rhythms of life and work.  We’re delighted to be back. In this midst of this busy season, I was invited by Shammah, our hospital engineer, to attend his dowry negotiation ceremony.  An important tradition in most Kenyan...

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It’s a whole new engine! (1/9/15)
Sep01

It’s a whole new engine! (1/9/15)

When I write it out like that, I feel like I’ve won something on The Price is Right rather than committing to buying something huge. After I wrote the blog update last night asking for prayer for our ailing car, I went to bed at 10pm.  An hour later, Riley woke me up:  “Daddy, I woke up and now I can’t sleep!  I think it might be jet lag.”  A little bit of benadryl with codeine and she was snoring again. Not...

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September prayer:  of engines, matatus and rats
Aug31

September prayer: of engines, matatus and rats

We returned to Kijabe yesterday around lunchtime and it is great to be home. The last 24 hours has been joy-ful and humorous:  being welcomed back by our community, walking around the hospital and seeing how far the projects have progressed (we have a working CT scanner!), a whirlwind of unpacking and the first day of school, and being greeted by one of our Hospital staff:   “Andy, welcome back.   You are looking a bit...

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