rotating header

Monday, July 01, 2013

Monday in bundi

Hugs, smiles of delight. Down to the health center, greeting our friends. Nurses we trained still here, serving. Over a hundred deliveries a month, good statistics being kept. Dr Jessica and PA Anna seeing patients, volunteers translating. My Lubwisi comes back, old patterns and memories, words that are a struggle in Kenya flow here. Two moms of the 40 are familiar. The others are new to me, but the problems are not. Scott and I poke heads into every building and greet every staff before I settle down to see patients and he dresses a new burn, a child who tripped and fell into boiling kahunga in a pot over a fire. The wards are dirtier, grungier, darker than I remember, and the store room cleaner and more organized. Many problems have not changed, have become worse, with poor morale and supervision, lack of supplies and accountability. But maternity and paeds are still very functional, and the patients throng for care,

Visits with former neighbors, it takes the old grandmother a while to realize who I am, and I listen to the others explain, then she exclaims "muka doktor" and her face breaks into a grin. Scott has a long meeting with the csb headmaster our friend Isingoma who has made the school better than ever. Josh returns from a water line inspection after rumors run wild in the middle of the night that one tribe has poisoned the water to hurt the other ....there is evidence of a pipe bring hacked open, but no poison, and the water flows again. I assist in the kids' club admiring the energetic songs and play instigated by our interns. Then teach other interns how to make tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes for pizza.

The day ends with team pizza at our old house, sitting on our old porch swing. Up until to moment the visit has been very much about reconnection, the aligning of the universe that occurs when you are back where you should be. But seeing our old books in the library, and sitting on our old patio, suddenly becomes so familiar that the loss is felt afresh. The stars come out, the insects chirp, we talk into the dark coolness of night, Nyahuka an electrified glow on the horizon. And I miss this place, my kids, our life, fiercely.


Nathan said...

Thanks for writing - I'm enjoying reading about your visit to Bundibugyo. It brings back memories (far, far fewer) for me as well. I hope you are well.

Kate Dahlman said...

Jennifer, this post made me cry. You write so beautifully and poignantly about your life in Nyahuka; I feel the same way every time I'm in Kijabe. Thanks for posting.