Where Gombe was a small rural hospital, seeing an average of 22 women a day, Endebess is a larger hospital that is vying for district status. Here, during our first two days, we saw more women than we did the entire week in Gombe. Monday, Carol and I did the cervical cancer training to 60 community health workers. The pace is faster; there are more women with severe cases, yet the facilities are more reliable so the work seems more fluid. Small town Kenya is worlds away from rural Uganda. We have consistent power so we are now able to use our equipment. We even have hot water and showers where we are staying, so we can now feel more like ourselves. As much as we all loved Gombe, Endebess is a big step up.
Our replacements are starting to arrive. Art Levit and Carol Savio flew in last night from the states. Art is a piano playing OBGYN, most recently from Kaiser East Bay, who has been Medical Director on numerous PINCC trips since his retirement three years ago. Carol is a retired RN who moonlights at the Women's clinic in San Francisco when she is not on PINCC trips. Melissa leaves us tomorrow for the states and Art will take over as Medical Director for the remainder of the trip. Eva and Arlayne leave on Saturday and I will be dropped off on Sunday in Kisumu to visit a friend while the rest of the new team meets in Kisii. This has been a wonderful adventure; it is hard to believe our two weeks are nearly over.
And how is it, you ask, that I have time to blog on a Wednesday afternoon? I, the one who has eaten street food all over the world and never gets sick, got sick. And even more unsettling is that I cannot figure out what got me there. Yesterday was excruciatingly difficult, trying to shoulder my responsibilities while also trying to keep from being sick in front of everyone; I managed but do I owe Arlayne! She was a huge trouper and did nearly everything while I just organized paperwork and inputted in the computer. She most defiantly earned the golden speculum award yesterday! And I must say, if you have to get sick on a trip, do it on a trip with Doctors. My meds, of course, were deemed inferior once reviewed yet any meds I needed, someone had. And when your body rejects said meds faster than you can get out of bed, your doctor roomie is not fazed at all and gives you hers while she goes to another room. The complete injustice of it all is that I feel fine today. Hungry even, as I sit, quietly relaxing, writing this blog as I know everyone is working hard 45 minutes away but fortunately Carol and Art are there to help and all will go well. I see my future though. Tomorrow will be speculum city for me!
Amelia T. Hambrecht