Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Nurses of Kisii

After all their hard work and perseverence, I wanted to give you a glimpse of some of the wonderful, quirky nurses we worked with at Kisii Hospital. As a group they were charming, diligent, kind, hilarious, and a pleasure to teach and work with. We almost wish we could pack each of them into a little box, place them in our pockets, and take them home. But then who would help Dr. Mutiso with the LEEP's and CRYO's? Oh well, I know Carol and Dr. Kenya are very excited and eager to see them again in February!

Jerusa: Wonder Woman and Nurse Extraordinaire
Petite, small, 52 year old woman. As soon as she saw us, she sized each of us with quick up and down glances, bounded over, and planted two kisses on each cheek. Then, she flashed us her famous Jerusa smile, in all its mischevous glory, and gave us a tour of the facility. Now, when she talks about the hospital, she caresses each word, patting each medical device and instrument as if they were her children. This woman radiates vitality and passion and a love of nursing. She even stayed late to help with paperwork and clean up! What we loved most about her was not only her sweet nature and sense of humor but also her ferocity. Either when she's on the hunt for more speculums or bargaining with Carol for more swabs or even a headlight, Jerusa makes sure that she can take care of her patient. Really, that was this woman's first priority...and that's just how we like it!
Josephine: The Dimpled Mama
I bet, when children look at Josephine, they automatically think "Mommy" because she even appears caring and loving. A small. slightly chubby woman with the kindest face, Josephine is soft-spoken and shy. But as the days went by, she started asking more questions and particpating more when Dr. Rashmi was doing exams. As a nurse she is capable and responsible...and as a friend she is peerless. Often, at break, all you see her doing is pouring tea for her friends or offering them more bread. And finally, when the other nurses have been attended to, you see her reach for another piece of bread and another mug of tea...and offer it to a patient. Gerneostiy personified, that's our Josephine.

Regina of the gleaming eyes
Oh Regina, standing so very tall. At first, we heard nothing come from this woman's mouth. Not a peep. But those eyes...oh those eyes. Always crinkled, always dancing, those eyes look like they know something secret...something special. All we knew of Regina was what the other nurses told us. "Regina? Regina's hilarious! She's always joking around and smiling." A-ha! We knew it! Those eyes gave her secret away! Fortunately, as we became familiar faces, she showed us more and more of her endearing nature...and we were hooked.

The Mellens
Same name. They even look similar. Heck, they came from the same town! But those Mellens are very very different. There's young Mellen and an older, riper Mellen (sorry, that really wasn't very funny...But I couldn't help myself!) Young Mellen is more vivacious and curious, while the other Mellen is established, firm, solid. Really, I think they do it on purpose to keep each other in balance...otherwise, there would be all kinds of confusion! But both Mellens are wonderful people, excellent nurses. What would we do without our sweet Mellens? (Oh god, another pun!)
Euniah: "We will do 100 exams...EACH!"
What a promise! What a crazy, promise! Even though we only expected the nurses to complete 100 in 6 months, this woman promised that each nurse would see 100 patients! But, there's not doubt that it's going to happen. And if anyone could do it, it's Euniah. Euniah's not afraid to say what she thinks or even ask for something she needs. Carol agrees; "Euniah grounds me."

Teresa. A god-send.
Though not a nurse, Teresa deserves as much recognition. This woman would arrive every day earlier than us and stay late too. She made sure everything was clean, tidy, organized. Frankly, she had one hard job. And we respect her and admire her for her diligence and attention to detail. Without her, we would probably have been tearing our hair out and acting crabby. Thank god for women like Teresa!

1 comment:

  1. What a fine tribute to the nurses of Kisii! Your descriptions of each of them are just wonderful, each one a big smile. So wonderfully written that I want to be in their company! Thank you. -Lexi