Having just spent three glorious days floating in, on and through the Indian Ocean, I am heading back to Nairobi later this afternoon with a spring in my step. I'll finish the last bits of work and then on to the United States Wednesday night.
So much has happened in the last six weeks that I find hard to take it all in. Starting two new sites in Cameroon and another in Kibera has been quite the adventure and, as expected, the two “second-visit” sites in Kenya held their own fair share of roller coaster moments.
Through it all, every set of volunteers was simply extraordinary. There were twenty-three of you who came and went over the course of the trip. I am not quite sure how we started referring to the two teenagers in Cameroon as “the babies”, nor how Evan took on the role of beloved little brother of the younger set, but everyone seemed to take each day in stride. Amy modeling her new fashions in the chaos of departure from Kumba, Christina's braids, Leon's pink gloves, Virginia making the rounds of every exam room in Bungoma and Tabitha Clinic, Melissa training with every breath and smile, volunteers walking into Kibera, rising above set-backs in Kiambu, learning a task and then training new volunteers as they arrived; you all seemed graciously born to the work.
This was a resilient group of volunteers and clearly PINCC work is not for the faint-hearted. Leaping into the unknown in Cameroon, coping with the absence of an International Terminal in Nairobi, finding your way in one new place after another--you rose to the challenge multiple times every day. And many good things happened every day. Training was begun, a surprising number of trainees were certified for such early visits and solid progress was made at each site. None of that would have happened if each of you had not given your all every day. I am inspired by, and grateful for, your example. You have a special place in my heart and my most sincere thanks. I miss you and hope to see you again soon!Love, Carol
Carol Cruickshank, CNM, Program Director
Prevention International: No Cervical Cancer