Previous volunteers used to stay in Liboi where World Concern has a compound right in the center of town. From there it is about twenty minutes by car to the Somalia border. Because it is close to the police station and a military base, security apparently is alright. From there Damajale and Hamey are more easily accessible. However because of the recent military sweep and the rain that makes the road to Liboi impassable we have stayed in Dadaab.
Dhobley is still a no-go because of the security situation and we will not be visiting it at all since we will be leaving for Nairobi even earlier than planned because of the current flight situation out of Dadaab. One of our team members got ill and was flown to Nairobi this morning accompanied by another member leaving the MTI coordinator and me in Dadaab to finish up the rest of our trip.
Because we have recently provided clinics at Damajale and Hamey we decided to go to Liboi to see if there may be future collaboration with the Ministry of Health or Medecins Sans Frontieres. As we approached Liboi the roads to Liboi are just rivers, it is difficult to imagine how one could reach it by land vehicles. The helicopter landed in the muddy field close to the military base and we immediately were met by four military officers after we walked through muddy paths, at one point I had to hang onto a fence slowly inching my way along the mud in order not to slip. The military officers wanted to know our mission which I thought logistics/security would have communicated with them earlier and they wanted to know why the helicopter did not stop its engine but just dropped us off and took off immediately. They were friendly enough.
After walking through the police ground, the WC vehicle came to meet us, only to be stuck in the mud a few hundred meters down the village. So we decided to get off and walked. The rest of the WC staff that took the first helicopter trip had been busy checking the food vouchers at the compound.
We walked to the Liboi Healthcare Center to see the two tents provided by MSF for treatment of cholera. In October, Somalians were sent across the border to be treated here but since the Kenyan incursion, there have been no patients. The inpatient wards were completely empty, the sole patient that they had had just been discharged. The outpatient clinic was closed for lunch. We met briefly with two MSF staff who were not opposed to having other healthcare volunteers to come to Liboi. Andrew told them that we would comeback after lunch to visit the MSF center but that did not take place because then he informed us that the helicopter was coming to pick us up at 3 instead of 4 pm. We went to what he called Liboi Hilton Hotel for a lunch of Ugali, cabbage and goat meat.
Back at the compound I tried to befriend a cat with beautiful blue eyes. I named him Yanburu or Parka, it means cat in Somali or Swahili respectively. He must have some Siamese genes. I have been feeding him goat meat which is quite difficult to chew. The other day the watchman heard persistent loud banging on the gate and when he hurried to open it he only found three goats waiting to be let in. He shooed them away angrily. It was rather funny.