Saturday, April 2, 2011

Screening day 1

            Today we began bright and early at 5:30am, ate some delicious breakfast, and headed to the hospital around 7am. Despite slight transportation problems, we all arrived safely in a few cabs and vans. The Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital is about 5 minutes from our hotel and consisted of lots of small buildings and open outdoor space, where we spent most of our time today.
            While all the doctors and nurses began screening the patients, the student team was busy outside trying to keep the children occupied.  Although some were a little timid at first, they loved the small race cars and bubbles we brought out. We set up our little play area right next to the big tent where patients were waiting. A lot of the older children were really into all of the items we brought out. 
Presenting Nutrition
One girl, Roselyn, who is 12 years old and came to Operation Smile for burn treatment, was really bright and spoke both English and Swahili fluently. She worked so well with us, and helped us ask some younger children questions. In each of our presentations, Roselyn stood up front and translated for us. When we brought our the mini guitar, Roselyn and another 12 year old, Margaret, began dancing, and soon a lot of kids got involved.  We loved all the dance moves they showed us, and they even taught us a song. Margaret’s dancing was a mix of tribal moves and what seemed to look like the “Dougie”. It was awesome. Karina decided to teach her how to do the “Stanky Leg” and she did it perfectly with a little twist of her own dance move. That girl could move!
Margaret & Karina

As the day went on, the sun kept beating on our faces since there was barley any shade. The morning went by, and afternoon rolled around. There were much less patients waiting during this time. Just as things started to slow down, a Turkana tribe showed up. We the Turkana tribe’s are nomads who travel with herds of animals and survive off of cow meat, blood, and milk. Turns out that they had been traveling for four days to arrive at the hospital. One of the mothers had rings of necklace chokers, which are used to expand the neck and make it longer. She came to be treated for what seemed to be a tumor behind her eye and a burn on her mouth. With the tribe, there was also a young mother who looked to be about 14 years old with a one year old baby who had a cleft lip.

Connections of the day:
Karina: We also met a boy named Tony. Tony introduced himself to me with a handshake and a timid smile, little did I know, I were in for a surprise. Tony is 12 years old and quite the character. Very intelligent, very flirtatious, and very curious. He had already had an operation done last time Op Smile was in Kenya for his cleft lip. This time he was back for surgery on his palate. Every time I would leave Tony’s sight, he would constantly be asking Op Smile team members where I went and when I would return. Once he found me, he would say “I have come back, to talk with you”. I would ask him what he would want to talk about and he would ask me how life in the United States is. Intrigued with every detail, Tony would ask for more and more information. Hope I get to see Tony again next week! J
Helping Kevin with the puzzle
Century: When we were coloring with a few kids laying on the grass this morning, a small boy named Kevin also approached us.  With a few crayons and coloring pages, he created some of the best coloring we had seen all day! Kevin was very bright, and although he was quite shy and did not talk much at the beginning, by the ending of the day he was telling me all the countries on the globe! His favorite toy was the Winnie the Pooh puzzle. Although he may never had seen a puzzle before, after I taught him the characters, and how it worked, he did not stop! When he finished, it was so great to see how enthusiastic Kevin was about completing the puzzle, and kept telling his mother “Look what I did!” I helped with his first puzzle, but he did it all by himself and showed other kids how to do it too.

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