Stephi's blog - the final two days in Nakuru
Today was a really quiet day in comparison to the last few. We were expecting a bus load of people to come but after about 3 hours we heard that they were stuck because of police road checks. We think they will come tomorrow. However we had a chance to see others who weren't registered but had come hoping we could help.
I saw a 25 year old lady called Janet and I fitted her with single crutch which is what she needed. It will now be much easier for her to walk.
Then I helped Bernard who was 16 and went to school. He hadn't walked since he as born so he was fitted with self-propelling wheelchair and I fitted the pelvic strap to the wheelchair for him to stop him slipping forward.
A lady called Suzanna arrived shuffling, bent right over - she had had Polio when she was younger so she was fitted with a self-propelling wheelchair and was so happy. Suzanna's friend Agnes also badly needed a chair as she had also arrived crawling on the ground. She got a great wheelchair too and we gave them necklaces and bracelets. With the help of a local Kenyan to translate they explained they had recently left Tanzania because there was no food and had travelled 1000km to Nakuru by bus, boat and crawling. Some people's stories are amazing.
I fitted 2 men with crutches, both were called Joseph and both were really happy.
There was a man who had come every day who was fitted with a chair. His friend said he had crawled for 2km to reach us.
I also made sure I kept my foam- cutting skills up to date with more cushions requests from the team.
I spent some of today on the admin desk with Linda and a lovely Kenyan lady called Sarah. We moved the desk into 6 different spots as the day went on, to find shade. It is so hot in the sun but we can't work inside where the wheelchairs are stored as the lights don't work and we can't see to adjust the wheelchairs.
Some people have come who we haven't been able to help as they are children and we don't have any children's chairs left. It is so hard to turn them away. However we did offer blankets and Bibles. It is always so wonderful as whenever we offer prayer and a Bible wih Gordon, everyone always says yes. The Kenyans so often tell us how good God is- it is amazing as so many are really poor and struggling in life.
We were just about to leave when a lady arrived needing crutches so we fetched done from the store and fitted them for her.
Once again Eileen has been doing a fantastic job running training courses with Pastor Davis in disability awareness- today they have been training senior government officers at Egerton university. It is such important work. Brenda went today to film some of the work.
We went to the church centre today for the last time. Today was meant to be a clear up day but when we arrived, there were people already there. One of the first people to be seen was a 21 month old baby girl called Faith. She was disabled from when she was born. Pam taught her family how she could build up strength in the right side of her body. I really enjoyed being able to help with the exercises she was given and also distracted her with balloons, bubbles, a bag, a teddy, a blanket and GRASS!! It is amazing how easily little children are pleased!!! I was doing all of this while Pam used therapy and exercises to help her. One of the exercises was putting a toy out infront of her right arm (her weak side) and seeing if she could take it. She did this really well so I don't think it will take much for her to be really strong with both sides of her body. If the family use the exercises, then she will be able to do so much more and might even be able to walk and have a much better life.
The next person I saw was a little 11 month old baby boy called Peter. I helped Pam and Caroline to teach him how to lie down on his front and push up on his arms. He really didn't like the therapy that we did with him and he kept on crying and crying and crying. I tried to distract him with bubbles and playing with a teddy but none of this worked. I finally realised that he really liked playing peek-a-boo and he too loved the grass. Both of these children did not need a wheelchair (thank goodness as all the little wheelchairs had gone) but as they are only young, if they do the exercises then they should progress quickly. I then helped Pam with a 5 year old boy called Simon. He had Muscular Dystrophy and Pam taught him and his family some exercises as well.
There was a man who had spinal injury. He was fitted with a really good wheelchair and I helped with his pelvic belt and to adjust the only gel cushion we had to fit his wheelchair seat, as he suffers from pressure sores because he cannot feel his legs.
In total we saw about 23 people this morning. We then cleared the remaining wheelchairs and crutches. These will all be used. Eileen has measured some disabled people at Pastor Davis's church and selected the wheelchairs for them. A number are also going to the local hospice and hospital. 10 were collected this morning for Kimilili where wheelchairs have been distributed before by WFTW and Becky the physio can fit them there. There were also some that the Catholic Diocese in Nakuru and the Tegemeo disability self-help group (which Richard and Peter are part of) will use for disabled people who come to them in need. They even kept any spare parts and old broken wheelchairs that were handed in and will use these for repairs. It is so good that everything will be put to good use.
We finished clearing up about 3pm and Peter took us for a walk to see round the town of Nakuru and the local market where it started to deluge with rain so we took shelter in a little cafe. (It made me think how pleased I am that people now have wheelchairs and don't need to crawl in the rain and mud.) Once we had had a drink we took a tuk-tuk back to the hotel to pack.
I will be sad leaving tomorrow. I have so enjoyed being part of the team. (The minibus is coming at 4am to take us to the airport). We have met such wonderful people and helped many with such sad stories.
I have just heard we helped 250 people in total, which is amazing. I will always remember how the Kenyans smiled and said 'God bless you' all the time. On behalf of all the team, thank you very much - Asante sana.
You can read all of Stephi's blog entries by following this link.