About cairesonmission

Serving the Lord through medical missions and education.

Sadness and Happiness

I want to confess that I do not want to leave Kijabe, even if it is just for a short period of time. I really enjoy working and serving here. I love the hospital, even with its challenges. I love my coworkers, and I love the trainees. I can see that Allison is happy teaching at Rift Valley Academy. And now, when things could get difficult with COVID-19, at a time when the hospital may need us more, we are leaving. It is so hard! But I love my family more than the hospital, and I trust God over all. Without Kenyan school in the fall, it has become clear to us that it is better for our children to be in the US than to stay in Kijabe. We have made lots of decisions that have been hard for them, and I hope this is one that makes life a little easier. Not all of our kids have loved living here as much as their parents, and so maybe a change is owed. Therefore we are heading home in sadness, but also in hopes of good things!

I love the USA. I know things are difficult there currently. Kenya has fewer COVID cases total than Dallas County gets in a day. The important Black Lives Matter movement is a point of division. However, I surely miss my family and friends in the USA, and I miss a lot of what is familiar in Texas and Oklahoma where I have spent most of my life. I miss practicing medicine with lots of resources. I miss good food, good friends, and feeling culturally secure. We are looking forward to coming back as much as we are sad about leaving. So we are a confused group of people in this family! Please pray for us.

We leave this weekend, arriving home late Sunday night. We are so thankful for a mission guesthouse in which we have stayed before. We are thankful for a minivan! We are thankful for the mission guesthouse small car! Wow! God has been good to us through his people. Everyone who helps us and is friend with us, you cannot know how much it means!

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Flamingo House

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Homeward Bound

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We’ll be flying to the States this Saturday! It has always been the plan to visit this summertime, but then there was the ‘rona, the needs of the hospital, the needs of the kids, the decision by RVA to not open school this fall, the failure to open the airports, cancelled flights, repatriation flights, and now we have one way tickets to Dallas. We plan to stay until the end of the year and possibly longer if the school here does not open in January.

Right now we are looking for a “special” place to quarantine when we arrive home. We have a house provided so kindly by First Baptist Church Richardson in which we can stay, but we are wondering if someone might have access to something different we could use or rent cheaply. We will be arriving in Dallas on Sunday, June 28th and then we will need to spend some time away from our family for 10-14 days until we make sure that we have not brought more than our luggage with us. Ideally, this would be a time for our family to enjoy scenery or activities that we cannot experience here. It would be fabulous to do a big road trip, but that is not advisable during this time. Do you have a friend who has a vacation house? We are willing to drive there. Do you have an idea of a place with a private pool? Our kids would very much enjoy just hanging out by the pool for hours. This quarantine time falls over July 4th weekend, so many places that we have checked out on Airbnb are already reserved. If you have an idea of a place that we could isolate or you know of someone who might loan or rent their place to us, would you let us know? Thanks ever so much!

Another Plague – Seriously, What is Next?!

Schedules!!!!

I spend a lot of my time doing schedules. I “get” the pleasure of creating the weekly assignment for the internal medicine service as well as the call schedule for the internal medicine service, the outpatient department, and the COVID-19 ward. We are in tough times at the hospital. No volunteers, many of us leaving for our home countries. Staffing is short, and I try my best to be sure everyone gets some time off at some point. Everyone needs a break at times, no matter how much you feel called to the work or even love the work. So please pray for the endurance of the staff at Kijabe Mission Hospital. We are going to need a God-given strength to do the work he has put before us, especially as the COVID virus becomes more severe. God bless Kijabe Mission Hospital.

Porch Picnic

We had around a 3 week break in the rainy season, which has now come back with a vengeance. It is cold for Kijabe. That means a fire every day to warm the house, space heaters in the bedrooms, and nights huddled around the fireplace in camping chairs to stay warm. I miss the warmer nights (we were still in sweatshirts) of our mini dry spell with dinners on the porch.

Nights eating dinner on the porch are the best!

Having Cake is Fun

I love this! In Kenya we sing this song when we cut a cake. In Peru we had three songs we sang at birthdays! We have our songs in the US too, but there is something about the cutting cake song in Kenya that I especially enjoy!

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Eating cake is more fun in Kenya

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Anxious for COVID Results

We admit people to our COVID-19 ward nearly every day. We have partitioned half of our hospital to take care of all of our corona virus patients. We place all of our patients who present to the hospital with shortness of breath, fever, hypoxia (low oxygen levels) into this ward while we await their COVID virus tests to come back. When they come back negative, we move the patients to the normal ward. We try to get them out so that they are not there when the next patient arrives who might possibly be infected. So far we have been able to keep all admitted patients in separate rooms so that we do not cross-infect a negative patient from another who might test positive. Nobody has tested positive in the COVID ward, and we have been able to move them all over to the normal beds. Usually these patients “just” have tuberculosis. Once we start having positive patients we will not be able to transfer patients over to the normal ward, and all who end up the COVID ward will be staying there whether they are positive or not. Because once they are admitted into a ward that has COVID positive patients, they are considered exposed and possible transmitters. This desire to move patients to the normal ward makes us eager to get results, and so it means we make multiple trips to the lab with frequent calls to the lab manager asking if results are back. That is why you see Godfrey begging for results in the picture below. We want to get patients out of the COVID ward to the normal hospital where they belong!

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Tracking down labs

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Par Three at RVA

Last week there was a golf tournament at RVA. One of the staff at the kid’s school put together a small par three course around the upper field. So now this spring instead of rugby cheers on the paddock, you hear cries of “Fore!” Small groups moved around the course, with a closest to the pin contest and free cokes for each hole in one. The low scorer won two free pizzas from the local Pizza Inn. Its a tiny course, but it is a lot of fun for a quick nine holes. Tennis courts are water hazards. Soccer goals are tall trees in the fairway. The wind blows across the pitch toward Mt. Longonot in the valley. You are considered in the hole when your ball is within a club length of the flag. There are no greens and the fairways are deep as rough. David and Peter have picked up clubs for almost the first time, and progress is being made by all of us in our nine iron game.

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RVA Par 3

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Hash-up Mash-up

During quarantine, I’ve noticed that everyone’s new favorite hobbies are cooking and baking. I say amen to that. What’s better than a hobby you can EAT? I’ve been thinking I should revive my occasional recipe sharing on the blog.

To that end, here’s a super simple yet satisfying meal for those celebrated “breakfast for dinner” nights. I suppose you could make it before noon, but that’s your call.

Hash-up Mash-up

Ingredients:

enough potatoes to grate about 4-5 cups; 5 or 6 big potatoes, 12 or so medium red potatoes

10 eggs

cooking oil

salt and pepper

  • optional: bacon, Freddy’s Fry Seasoning

Directions:

  1. Boil the whole potatoes in water to cover for 15 minutes or until fork-tender. Set potatoes aside to cool a bit. (If you are in a place where you can get a bag of frozen hash browns, you can skip the potato part of the recipe. This is a missionary blog, so this is how we make it.)
  2. If you are using bacon, start by frying bacon in your biggest, most non-stick sauté pan.
  3. Grate the cooled potatoes on the biggest holes of your box grater.
  4. Leave the bacon grease in the pan or if you didn’t start with bacon, put 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil in the pan.
  5. Put the grated potato in the oil or grease and spread it out to the edges for a layer of potatoes.
  6. Here’s the part that requires patience– let it sit at least 5 minutes or more without moving it (more time if you started with frozen hash browns) When you lift up one edge and it looks good and golden brown underneath, flip pieces of hash browns with your spatula. Now let the other side brown. You may need to drizzle more oil on so that you get a good fry. While the potatoes are frying, generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. *On a whim, I bought a jar of Freddy’s Fry seasoning and brought it to Africa. If you live on the I-35 corridor and can get some, we recommend. If not, you can make it. Good stuff to add at this stage.
  7. With patience, you’ll get a pan of beautiful golden brown hash browns. While you are waiting, crack 10 eggs into a bowl.
  8. Now you will add the protein. If you have a thick layer of hash browns, you can make little divots in the hash browns to receive eggs. Pour the eggs over the hash browns, evenly distribute the yolks if needed, and cover with a tight lid. The steam from the potatoes will make sort-of basted eggs and the bottom will get nice and crispy.
  9. Serve a wedge of Hash-up Mash-up with ketchup, sriracha sauce, hot sauce, and/or Ranch dressing, plus bacon, fruit salad, waffles, etc. ¡Bon appétit!