Sunday, December 2, 2012

Heading Back To Kenya

Greetings from somewhere above the Mediterranean. Yesterday, with a heavy heart I said goodbye to friends and loved ones and boarded a plane in San Francisco to Amsterdam. I am enroute to Nairobi and ultimately the little town of Sagam in western Kenya, gearing up to spend another two and a half months on the ground in rural Africa as part of the MGH/CCRMC Global Health Fellowship. Our goals remain the same - to help a small, community hospital with education, systems building, and infrastructure support, while working with the local medical school to help them start their first graduate training program in Family and Emergency Medicine. I was last there from August to October, and it sounds like many things have been accomplished since then. The mostly US based crew has been working alongside the Kenyan team of clinicians, nurses, and administration on a near daily basis at Sagam Community Hospital. Ties at the medical school are being strengthened through meetings and project assessments. And on a more selfish, basic level, life for the expats appears to be getting even easier. The bats are (mostly) eradicated from the attic, the washing machine might be working, and the car so graciously lent to us gets from point A to point B most of the time.

At my feet are five external hard drives that will be part of the creation of a learning center at the hospital. Up til now, most learning materials were dusty textbooks from various decades in the past. I hope that during these next few months, we will continue to solidify our relationship with the hospital and med school through teaching and capacity building efforts. I also hope to eat lots of beans, chapati flat bread, and the local kale known as sukuma wiki.

It's not easy leaving lovely NorCal behind (the picture shows a recent day of olive picking in the Dry Creek vineyards), and it's even harder saying farewell to the people I care about. I certainly felt it more intensely this time. But hopefully someday, as I look back at why I did it and what we accomplished, we will see that it was all worth it.


sarah said...

We miss you too, Piercy.

Jefe said...

Thanks, Sarah.