It’s me again, reporting the latest from Kenya! First of all, I am REALLY enjoying my time at the clinic. Second of all, I have experienced some super fun things. It’s quite interesting how different the Maasai culture is from life in America. For example, a few days ago, this local Maasai woman brought in a baby for immunizations. The baby’s clothes were dirty and when I unwrapped her, she was sitting in a poopy cloth diaper. Her skin was peeling and she just looked slightly neglected. When I inquired about her home life, I was told that the woman who brought the baby in was not her mother. Now let me interject and let you know that Polygamy is very prevalent here, and not looked down upon at all. So back to my story. This woman explained that the little one was not hers and that she was bringing it in for her husband’s other wife. I was blown away. I couldn’t imagine taking care of my husband’s other wife’s baby… And I never say no to taking care of babies! 🙂 I was also told that when the husband is away on business, all the women hang out and spend time together. I was shocked, yet this was so normal to the nurses and locals. They found it odd that I was so surprised at this information.
Another interesting thing about the clinic is that we spend a decent amout of time every day shooing sheep and cows away from the clinic and our drying maize. The clinic ladies lay fresh maize out on tarps to dry in the sun, and the livestock come to eat the maize. It’s not a big deal that they nibble away at the maize until you sit down over a bowl of githeri (maize and beans) and think about where that meal has been. So that is why I spend so much time herding livestock!
Now for the most exciting part of this blog… I got to help with a delivery!! A few days ago we had a pregnant woman come into the clinic who had a fairly high blood pressure. She was due to deliver, so we admitted her into our Maternity ward. We intermittently checked on her throughout the day and by evening she was fully dilated. I was beyond excited because this was the first delivery at the clinic since I have been here and I have been really wanting to see/help with a delivery!
Just as we were getting everything in place, the power shut off. Lighting was very limited because our lanterns are in the process of being fixed. But that baby was going to come out whether there was electricity or not! As her labor progressed we held flashlights, and prepared to deliver in the dark. The power came back on just in time, and the delivery went very smoothly! As the baby got cleaned off and the mother got sutured up we tried to keep up a conversation with the her. Maasai women generally don’t show or verbalize emotion and pain and so we wanted to keep her talking so that we could monitor how she was doing and how she handled the delivery.
During the conversation, I asked if she had chosen a name for her precious little baby boy. She said she hadn’t, and that I could name the baby for her! How crazy is that?! And so I named the baby Brendon. After my very incredible future husband of course! 🙂 Then, the Dr. and her joked around about how I could wait to marry this new Brendon instead, and that she would give me a good dowry once the time came to marry him off! I had to refuse the offer but I felt very honored to be able to name her child. I didn’t think I would be naming babies for quite some time! 🙂