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.
I mentioned a few days ago about the rain. Here are some pictures from the flooded out bridge and abandoned train station. We took a pretty long hike (appx 8 miles round trip) to get up to the area of the mud slides. Wow! It was impressive, and I think with more rain we can expect more damage unfortunately.
All is well in Kijabe. Staffing is a bit tight in the hospital as the usual volunteers that make our lives a little easier have not come this time around. Even if they had wanted to, Kenya would not let them in. So we have fewer doctors to cover the hospital responsibilities, meaning time off is precious when you can get it. I am trying to make sure everyone takes a break before it possibly gets busy. We are in the middle of our second 21 day quarantine of Nairobi. For us in Kijabe, it does not change things much, except that we do not have access to Nairobi. However, food delivery is considered essential service, and so we can order groceries from Nairobi and have them delivered. The RVA cafeteria has connections with suppliers which allow us to get good fruits and vegetables. The German butcher still delivers, and so meat and sausage gives us the protein we need. Our local duka keeps us supplied with the cooking essentials, which can be interpreted as tortilla chips. Our houseworker brings milk, the cheese and butter comes from the local processor, and onions and potatoes are always available. Otherwise, we have lots of people come to the door. I sometimes feel like I am the main employer or customer for about a dozen local small-time businesses. I buy as much as I think is reasonable, and it is always “keep the change”. Slowly people we know are trickling home on emergency flights back to the US. It is weird to be left behind, even when you are choosing to stay. However, I think life is a bit better here compared to what I read is going on in the US. I do not think I would want to go back until things are open and society is functioning normally, and I guess in truth we do not really have much of a choice. And there is so much less panic here in Kijabe . . . how does anyone handle a 24 hour news cycle where bad news sells? With all of that, receive our blessing from Kijabe. God is good! Have a great Tuesday!
There is not a lot of space at our house. When I work at home the porch that we built is my home office. The view is not bad!
Rainy season started last fall (US fall), and then it was supposed to stop. It never stopped. We missed our dry season. Now the long rains have started and it has rained and rained and rained. The Nairobi flies are in plague mode as are the grasshoppers and locusts. Mud for the next 3 months until about the middle of July. We hope to come home this summer just as the rainy season ends, but that will depend on the end of the COVID season. Still no COVID cases in our hospital, although we may be catching more cases of TB!
Back at the end of February a friend from Peru came for a conference in Kenya. He ended up being just about 30 minutes from where we live. I met up with him on his last day in country and we went to Nairobi National Park, which is a national park right outside of Nairobi city. It probably is one of the only places in the world where you can see skyscrapers in the background while looking at lions and buffalos in the wild. Just thinking about some fun times from before we all got stuck in our respective homes. Nairobi has been quarantined for another 21 days. I hope for the people’s sake things open up soon. People are getting hungry and a little desperate.
There are some good pictures in the first article. The second has some points of interest as well. I don’t think we have to worry about locusts where we are, but I do not really know. I have seen some that look just like this outside our house, but nowhere near the numbers you see in the pictures included in the articles.
Double trouble for East Africa as locusts to come back 20 times strong – Standard Digital News: A swarm bigger than that witnessed last year is set to rise from Kenya into southern Sudan and Uganda owing to the widespread rainfall witnessed in March . . .
— Read on www.standardmedia.co.ke/mobile/amp/article/2001368306/locusts-to-come-back-20-times-strong-fao-warns
I am back into the hospital today after the weekend off for Easter. So far no cases in Kijabe Hospital which makes us wonder what may be going on in Kenya and in Africa in general. We keep saying we are a week or two away, and then nothing. I am glad, and I confess each day makes me more optimistic that we will miss the worst of it. There are multiple reasons that could play a role in what appears to be a less significant outbreak. We live in a tropical zone with lots of direct sunlight. Most of the population has received a BCG anti-tuberculosis inoculation which could impart some partial immunity. A higher percent of our population is on anti-retroviral medication (the treatment for HIV). Maybe there is a genetic predisposition against the virus. Also we have quite a few corona-type viruses that circulate through our community that could be imparting a partial immunity. Possibly an early move to partial quarantine slowed the infection rate. In the end it is confusing, because none of the listed reasons above seem to explain what appears to be less cases here. So maybe we are just behind, and it will come on strong in the next month. In the end I am thankful that it is not bad, and I pray that God will have mercy on the people of Africa, especially the poor.
Happy Day after Easter from our family!