Nairasirasa is the first Maasai dispensary we visited. The patient load was steady but light that day, so our medical personnel were able to spend a lot of time with the staff. This left me free to make myself useful where I could. I spent a lot of time talking with some elders of the dispensary’s overseeing church. These two men, Francis and Jackson, were very eager to share about their community, their church, and all of Kenya. They had recently lost their church building to a division in the church body, so they showed me the land on which they plan to build the new building.
Francis and Jackson were even more eager to learn about America. I explained to them the diversity of America’s geography, what life in Southern California is like, and how it compares to where I grew up in Pennsylvania. Francis had a lot of fun repeating the name ‘Pennsylvania.’
At one point during the treatment day, our entire group walked over to the local school to de-worm the students there. This was as simple as handing each child a single chewable tablet. This keeps them parasite-free for three months. As we were leaving, the children lined up for their lunch – the only meal many of them would receive that day.
It was interesting to watch the Maasai patients gather at the clinic. The men sat outside together in the shade. The women sat in the waiting room inside, and always had children along with them. I played a game of bottlecap soccer with one of the little boys, which turned more physical when we started sword fighting with empty water bottles. It escalated to quite a fray when the other children got involved.
That evening we went back to the hotel and had our first major devotional with our Kenyan friends. We also spent a lot of time planning for the next treatment day, which was to turn out busier than any other.