The Downpour, the Village Chief and Friday
Last evening I could see the stars though not very plentiful because of the lighting. The generator went off around half past ten and with that went our ceiling fan. It was a sweaty night until the rain came down rather heavily. The air cooled off somewhat. If there were going to be a field day, there would be a possibility of a cancellation because of the slick muddy road condition. But it being a Friday which we were told is their usual planning day, we will not be going anywhere. I was able to doze off but soon enough the five am call to prayer woke me up.
The flies have returned this morning. I had a bowl of Kenyan maize porridge which wasn’t bad. David went to Garrisa yesterday about 100 Km away from here and we were treated with bananas, mangoes and water melon. We were told that this is not a daily fare.
We spent part of the morning sorting through medications and supplies in the store room and prepared three bags, one for midwifery, pediatrics and adult medical care. A village chief and his deputy came to the compound wishing to discuss the possibility of World Concern going to their village to provide medical care. They wore western garb and had no beard. They spoke very fluent English but heavily accented and told us that they have about 10,000 inhabitants and rather than telling us the details they would prefer that we pay them a visit. Very soon into the conversation they requested that more toilets be built. We learn that to get the villagers’ cooperation and trust, one has to go through the village elders and solicit their prioritized needs. It is a very slow process but World Concern has been here awhile now and is known by both the Kenyan and Somali Somalians, they have gained the trust of the people here. There was talk about us going to a local hospital today but this never came through. We were essentially cooped up in the compound seeing that we are not to leave it without an escort and we did not feel like imposing on the staff at least during our first day here.
At last five o’clock came when we were to go to the UN compound to have a short run, it poured. I mean heavens opened up and sheets of rain came down. The ground being so dry quickly became flooded and despite our good intention we did not think it was a good idea to get soaking wet for I at least have limited clothing to spare as I have to be wrapped up with all the paraphernalia with my gym staff underneath. If my skirt and scarf got all wet I would not have any spare to use for my clinic day tomorrow. So Yvonne and I made do with some indoor exercise.
I hope tomorrow the security situation will be conducive to our traveling to Dhobley.