If you ever visit Kenya you will hear these two words. They are Swahili and mean: How are you? I’m fine! If the answer is something else you know that something is seriously wrong. I have learned that even really sick patients tell you that they are feeling good. And remember to greet with a handshake!
I have been in Kenya over a month now! We are staying Kisumu City and I have to tell you that it’s been eye-opening experience altogether. I thought I was well orientated when I left but you can’t prepare yourself to all you see, feel and experience here.
Our living arangements are good considering where most of Kenyans live. We have running water, electricity and even wifi (although sometimes more off-working than on-working). Most of Kenyans live at country side at mud houses which can fall down during the rain or at city slums in houses made of sheet metal. So I can’t really complain! But for a Finnish girl who has get used to have an own apartment it’s been interesting experience to live with three other girls and share a bed with one. And to make it more interesting we are sleeping under mosquite net like real princesses because of the malaria risk. We live right in the city center and I love it because at the country side you would have nothing to do beside the work. In the city you can have a break at coffee shop, eat nice meal at restaurant or just shop a bit. We can spent a free day at pool and bath in the sun.
I have been working here with Blue Cross organisation, which works with street children. I heard that in Kisumu live about 900 children at streets. Imagine that! They are hooked to glue, alcohol or drugs. With Blue Cross we have seen real life. We have visited homes where children who are supported by Blue Cross live. They check regulary how the families are doing. Most stopping moment here so far has been when we got to streets during the night. We bought bread to the street kids and went to see them at night time. They say it’s not safe to move around after dark but the opportunity was so unique that we coudn’t pass it. And workers from Blue Cross were with us. We talked to kids, gave them bread and milk. I was really touched by their lives. I hope they can get some help somehow.
Now I have been working at local health center. It’s been really interesting and taughtful experience. I think I have give more shots than I have ever before. I have got a good training about intraventricular injections. They gave them here straight to vein with the needle and give for example antibiotichs as a bolus. I was also suprised about their maternity care – most of the things are free to pregnant women and new-born baby. Next I’m going to work local hospitals for 6 weeks and then it’s time to go home.
Time runs here in Kisumu! I can’t believe I have been here over a month! The experience has been great and unique. I just hope I could do more to help these people here. I think resources I have are so limited.