My Trip to the Village of Marera Kenya.
We were asked to visit the school in Marera close to Jonah Anguka family home. It was about a 45 minute drive from the hotel in Kisumu. The roads were nice. The school was set off the main road a few miles.
We were greeted by a wonderful group of women, who came out to meet us singing with open arms. This touches my heart each time I hear them do this. Pastor Charles, Mary, the Marera Anglican Church Lay Leader, led the introductions. There are approximately 8 women who care for a large group of children. Rebecca who teaches the children, is an orphan herself who has finished school and wanted to come back to give back to the community. After formal introductions the children were restless and wanted to play. What adorable loving children. Pastor Charles shared that many of these children have been orphaned and some even have HIV/AIDS.
We had a delightful time playing with the children with the games and balls that we brought. The parachute was the biggest hit. They ran chasing the balls and the laughter was all over the place.
Percell Maynard, from Community Baptist Church, Rancho Cucamonga, California, had a chance to sit down with some of the local men that were interested in the Alcoholism /Drug Treatment Program called CODE. He is the founder of this project which is currently being run in Eldoret, Kenya. They call the project there KENYA Anti-Alcohol.
While Vickie and Connie, both from Community Baptist Church,were busy helping the women with the craft projects, I enlisted Mary’s help to do eye exams on the children. I am not able to do a lot without doctor supervision, but as a medical assistant I can check visions without any problem. They weren’t sure what they were supposed to be doing, but were very polite anyway. Connie came to take pictures of the kids and write down their names for Upland Presbyterian Church. They want to help support the kids and we thought it would be nice to put a face with a name. We were able to capture the names of all but 4 of them.
After a time of playing with the kids we went to Jonah’s family home for lunch. It was a short walk from the school area. We were welcomed with warm hospitality for a beautiful lunch and time of fellowship. Mary, had also prepared a wonderful tea for us. It was nice to sit and fellowship with such a great group of people.
When we were done with the tea, we were invited to visit the homestead of Jonah’s family. What a beautiful compound. There are several homes and a tribute to his parents.
As we were preparing to leave, Jonah’s sister-in-law Mary asked us to visit the women from the school at her home. They all came out to sing us a song good-bye, ‘Tuku Tendereza Yesu” and to “Thank us for coming.” After lots of hugs and goodbye’s we were on our way back to the Hotel. Pastor Charles decided to take a different route due to the rain and mud. We were able to see more of the area because of this.
The next day, we met with Dr. Olang’o Onudi, Provincial Medical officer, Western Province Kenya. He is in charge of the medical clinics hospitals for that area. We spoke of what he thought was the biggest concerns for the area. Next to the HIV/AIDS, Malaria is one of the most concerns. The next issue that he is dealing with is Tuberculosis (TB). Because so many HIV/AIDS patients suffer from lower immune systems, TB is becoming quiet a problem for these patients. Another concern he is seeing is Urinary Tract Infections in young girls.
We shared with him our hope for a one stop medical clinic that would address all needs including HIV/AIDS and Malaria. He is very interested in that idea and says that about 10 miles away a similar project is under way from another university from here in the States. He stated that with this project drugs are being dispensed for only a small deductible. He would like to know more as the clinic portion progresses.
I found this to be a wonderful community in need of some assistance with the water project, the clinic, community services/counseling, and help for the children and their care givers. They are very hard working people who just need a help to get started.
Jonah and Fred, Thank you for letting us be part of your family.
Kaiser Permanente, Fontana