Kenya: Mobile Eye Clinic in Tilangok

Today, I went with a few of the Kenyan staff members off into the villages to run an eye clinic. Bomet, where Tenwek is located, is already in a fairly small town. We drove about an hour away and over some dirt and gravel roads to a dispensary in Tilangok. It was one of my braver moments hopping in that African Jeep as the only American. Prior to starting clinic, we headed into a little hut for some chai and “chapatti” which is like a cross between flatbread and a tortilla. It is mega yummy and mega cheap.

At clinic, We did eye exams and gave out medications. We probably saw close to 90 patients in about 4 hours of solid clinic. Since I cannot speak Swahili or any of the local tongues, I did my best to be useful and collect money for medications and dispense them as needed. But, once it slowed a bit, I was able to help out and see patients too. A whole bunch of school kids came in so they could practice their English speaking with me. It was out of my typical clinical work, but good practice looking at eyes.

The thing about going to the villages that is so odd, is suddenly I become quite foreign. At Tenwek, there are lots of Western staff. But out in the rural community, the kids were quite taken aback by my skin color. They would stare and one girl kept grabbing my hands and looking at them. It’s so sweet.

After clinic, we all went for lunch in the town of Bomet. I had my first Stoney (African Ginger beer) and some local food. It was good. Of course, they decided to eat “lunch” at 4:30 and Tenwek dinner is at 6:30 so I wasn’t too hungry to eat again. They sure try and feed us American portions here at the compound and no one is ever that hungry. I also finally figured out how to get hot water in my shower so I was able to really enjoy that today. It feels nice to finally be well-rested, showered, and starting to feel in a groove.

I was able to take more pictures today, but the mobile app for the blog does not allow me to upload photos in the nice galleries we have installed and use any of the captioning features. So for now, here are just a couple and I will be sure to make a big post later once I return with any good ones that were left out.