RVA Library

Rift Valley Academy where Allison teaches and where our kids attend classes has a pretty unique library! Scan through some of the pictures below.

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Things found in the RVA Library.

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Its Going to be a Big Year

Its not a baby. We watched one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies the other night, The Big Year. Its about birding. Then a few days later I saw on the internet that May 4th would be a Global Big Day where people all over the world would go out and see as many birds as they could in one long day of collective effort. Our family was motivated. We saw a few, but being novices it was some work. However, it is good to put a name to some of these birds we are seeing around the neighborhood. (These are not my photos; they all came of the www.ebird.org website.)

Winner for the loudest bird. The Hadada Ibis. They always come in pairs and make a loud squawking cry when disturbed.

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The most majestic. The African Harrier Hawk. The pair of them have a large 3-4 foot wide nest in a huge tree just outside our yard. They have one of the most persistent whistling cries.

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The cutest. The Red-billed Firefinch. These are tiny and could easily sit on your pinkie finger.

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The one that shimmers with iridescence. The White-fronted Bee-Eater

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The one with the coolest nest. The Baglafecht Weaver. They make hanging nests that look like gourds. Just outside the hospital there are probably 10 nests hanging in one tree and the air is full of these birds in the morning when I walk in.

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The most black and white? The Chin-spot Batis.

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About the Drought

A note from RVA . . .

Hi Team,

As we appreciate some rain, just wanted to send you an update from our 33 year rain records so you get some perspective on how dry it’s been so we can pray and sympathize with our neighbors who depend so much on rain.

 

Average rainfall for Jan. – April going back to 1986 (and what we have this year so far):

 

January average 2.95 inches (1.56 inches)

 

February 1.97 inches (0.43 inches)

 

March 4.02 inches (0.8 inches)

 

April 8.12 inches (1.46 inches)

 

May 6.4 inches (0.62 inches so fa

 

This after last year’s “short rains” were not exceptional either – below average for August – November (December was a little above average).

 

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Rainy season / Dry season

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Busy OB Call

Another night of obstetrics call is in the books. It began with mother who was admitted with a femur fracture from a traffic accident. She was 31 weeks pregnant, and the baby’s heart tones were not completely normal. I watched her overnight as she was readied for surgery the following day. I imagined that her placenta would separate from the wall of her uterus due to the trauma, and I would have to rapidly take her back for a cesarean section; I wondered if I would need to call the orthopedic team to fix her fractured femur at the same time. Next was a severely ill pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnancy) patient. Her pregnancy already was complicated by severe growth restriction in the baby and loss of fluid around the baby both of which indicate that the placenta is failing. The estimated weight of the baby was about 2 pounds which indicated she was about a month behind where she should be. As I watched the heart tones of the baby they were minimally reactive indicating a unborn baby at the end of its rope. I took her for cesarean section and pulled out such a small little girl. She is doing well as of now on a ventilator, and I hope she makes it. The call ended with a delivery of twins right at midnight. The first came out normal looking for the exit. The second backed its way out in a breech position. The interesting thing is despite being twins, because of the timing of their birth, they have different birthdays. Cool!?

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Midnight twin delivery. Born on different days.

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G.K. Chesterton

Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.
The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore. Heaven may encore the bird who laid an egg. If the human being conceives and brings forth a human child instead of bringing forth a fish, or a bat, or a griffin, the reason may not be that we are fixed in an animal fate without life or purpose. It may be that our little tragedy has touched the gods, that they admire it from their starry galleries, and that at the end of every human drama man is called again and again before the curtain. Repetition may go on for millions of years, by mere choice, and at any instant it may stop. Man may stand on the earth generation after generation, and yet each birth be
his positively last appearance.

Exams

I spent the last Saturday morning participating in the exams of our Family Medicine residents. They were given 20 minutes with different patients to demonstrate their ability to interview, examine, and diagnose a patient. Overall they did well. I drove to Nairobi in the afternoon to see Avengers with a bunch of high school boys. Almost two hours in each direction makes for a long day, and the movie had better be worth it.