Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A day in the life...

WOAH! Today!!!

12:22am I finally go to bed after working - planned the agenda for a BIG meeting scheduled with Dr. Bongo - the Ministry of Health representative for the district. He is coming to our facility - Nyametaburo Health Center - probably hasn't been there since it opened 15 yrs ago. 

6:30am I wake up to my watch alarm and want to continue sleeping.

6:48am text message wakes up - Nelly says - the man with the nets is in Migori! 

On Feb. 18th Nelly and I placed an order for 1000 Insecticide Treated Nets for the people in Nyametaburo and Nyangiti! We are planning to sell them for 40 shillings (we bought them at 270 shillings - 75 shillings = $1 US). We will host a meeting next week with the Nuru Health Reps to teach them some things about what we are asking them to do - take nets to sell to their Nuru group members and families, and then sell to the community. We are subsidizing the price greatly! But we are so thankful to have the opportunity to do this because we can PROTECT people from the malaria causing bite. 

6:49am I message Nelly back telling her I will meet the truck in Isebania and come with them to the facility.

6:50am I kick it into HIGH GEAR! I am so so sleepy, but going a million miles a minute. I have to meet the truck in Isebania because they do not know the way to the facility - and we don't want to have to rent another truck. So, I am changing clothes, fixing my hair, telling Jake good morning and I'm leaving soon - the nets are here, I'm printing 8 copies of the agenda for today's BIG meeting, I'm making some tea, and asking Jake to make me a piece of peanut butter toast. 

I had to pack so many things - my computer, all my notes for meetings that day - with Dr. Bongo et al. and also with Nelly afterwards. I take EVERYTHING to the field with me - including the computer My bag is super heavy. 

7:10am I pack my toothbrush and toothpaste, grab my rain jacket, book bag, tea in my REI travel mug (thanks Britt), holding my pb toast in my teeth, and  Jake and I start walking the hilly goat path to Isebania.

7:25am Jake and I arrive at the Boda Boda station where we see the vehicle (van) packed with nets, and some gentlemen standing together with the bodas. I ask for Mr. Kamau, and this man starts shaking hads with me and greeting me in all these KiKurian greetings. I ask if he is Mr. Kamau, and he says yes, I ask again, yes, ask another way, and yes. Uh...ok. He seems strange. Jake is there, I introduce him, and Jake's saying...uh, are you sure that that's the guy. It totally wasn't. It was some rando. (rando = random person) This guy in a suit who was standing 1 inch away for that whole time, comes over and starts talking to us. This is the very nice Mr. Kamau, net supplier. 

7:30am I find Abraham at the Boda Station, and ask him to take me and lead the van to Nyametaburo. We go down the dirt roads and the view in incredible that early in the morning. The dew is still on the ground, and there was a lingering layer of fog in the valley. I cringed every time the van picked up speed behind us, and the boda struggled along the way. 

HILARIOUS (to me) - so I'm picturing my friends in their morning commute - Starbucks in the car drink holder, bag in the front seat, cell phone to their ear....it's pretty much the same for me this am.... Huge back pack on my back, one hand holding my REI travel mug, one hand calling the Doctor to ask him to send someone to open the gate so we can unload the nets, while I'm trying to wave to children, greet people walking on the roads, occasionally reaching back to steady myself on the Boda as we go over large "speed bumps" along the dirt road ;) I laughed with myself at how much I love that this is my morning commute. 

7:50am Arrive at the Health Center - Gate is locked. Walk with Mr. Kamau and his collegue, Nelly and I to a local Hotel where we just sit and talk about his company, nets, our partnership in the future, etc. The Hotel has an open door at the front, with a netted fabric covering the opening (the usual here) and the back door is open - occasionally we see a dog running thru, and there's a cat under the table. The mama is making Chapati (friend bread/dough in a tortilla kinda way - but WAY better). People are milling around in the "town square" and Counselor France comes to tell us the person with the key has arrived.

8:15am 6 people line up in assembly line form and we unload the matatu of 1000 white 5x6 conical insecticide treated nets!!!!!! YEAH!!!! We sign the receipts of the nets, and of the 50% left for payment for the nets. We take some pics. Say goodbye, and the van leaves to go back to Nairobi.

8:30am I literally am jumping around in a circle laughing and slapping hands with Nelly. I'm serious. WE HAVE NETS!!!! It was such chaos to get them, and now there are here. Nelly and I sit down and discuss our upcoming meeting with Dr. Bongo et al. This is a VERY impt. meeting and we need to get a lot of questions asked and answered. We decide that we can't really focus, and need to go take chai and chapati before our meeting ;)

9am we go back to the same mama's hotel. And now have some time to sit and it's just us...for 1 minute. I hear something, some crying, and it's coming from the back door area (opens up to rental apt/rooms). There's a small open compound there. I hear the cries, and perk up, and all of a sudden, the dog we saw earlier goes tearing thru the hotel towards the cries. I IMMEDIATELY GET SO EXCITED!!! "Nelly, are their puppies??? Can you ask her if there are puppies??" THERE ARE!!!!!

She takes us to the pups - 5 puppies. 4 black, 1 tanish black. 1 week old (is what she said, but I think a little more) Eyes aren't open yet - one little runt by itself so of course I held it and then snuggled it with the brothers and sisters. and one crying in the corner so snuggled that one and put it with the others too. The pups mom was fine with me holding the pups ... I asked ;) HIGHLIGHT OF MY DAY!!!! I love puppies sooooooo much! For real, this was the highlight!

Nelly and I get back in the hotel, and people start rolling in. 2 guys, 1 guy, 3 guys, one lady, etc. Every plastic chair is filled, 3 guys are sitting on rolled up sheet metal for roofing. Everyone has the same order - Chai and Chapati. I remember this mama, and ask Nelly if she is the one with the son who came in for the Quinine drip and stayed all day at the facility. It was. 

9:30am Back at the Health Center - Nelly and I discuss with Dr. Sangara our Agenda for the meeting. Warning him that I will be keeping everyone on track, and I know this is the MOH, but I will be getting to these Agenda items, not his if he intends on trying to commandeer the meeting.

9:50 Nelly and I sit in the mosquito net room ;) making sure we have all our ducks in a row for the meeting. All the papers we need. All the questions we need to ask. After that Nelly and I pack our things and read the Devotional for that day - my "Jesus Calling" book - so good! recommend it! Anyway - the First line is "I love you for who you are not what you do." perfect right! All these things going on, and God isn't doling out his love as a result of what we do - just loving us because we're his. ;) Nelly prayed for us, for our meeting, and it was beautiful! She's amazing!!!! I felt READY! and after a morning like this.... that's pretty unbelievable....

To be Continued....