Hot, hot, HOT airstrip in the remote norther region of Kenya.
After a 50-minute flight, I land in the extreme noonday heat of the Kenya Northern Frontier. The plane fully loaded with medical supplies, school supplies for the school built in honor of my Mother, and food and general supplies for my time up there.
I was lucky to catch an empty flight coming to pick up guests on their way home from a 10-day safari with Helen of Milgis Trust. The plane was warmly greeted with huge smiling faces. Thank goodness for the gentle breeze and the stunning backdrop that distracts from any discomfort from the heat.
The plane had hardly disappeared into the horizon when our first patient arrived- actually a former and current patient – Lucy. This sweet young girl (age 12) was born with her bladder outside her body. Lucy greets us with shy eyes and lovely smile, proudly wearing her school uniform. She is now ready for her second surgery.
Right behind Lucy stood a young man with horrible growths on his left foot. He will definitely need to get to the hospital for surgery and proper medical attention.
The only thing I could do for now is give him some ointment to hopefully soothe the pain. He doesn't have a shilling to his name. Most do not and are quite desperate.
As the African afternoon magically and ever so softly made it's way towards evening, Helen and I crossed the airstrip to meet, greet and buy the beautiful "camel milking" baskets the Ngurinit mommas carried from their villages to sell. They are so lovely, both the ladies in their colorful dress and the delicate yet strong "milk proof" baskets.
In the midst of all the transactions a young family appear on the fringes and patiently wait to be seen. It's brought to our attention something is wrong with their little boy (2-3?). His genitals didn't form correctly on the outside of his body. Unfortunately, he is struggling with a great malformation and urine leaks from a small crevice near his stomach. Like Lucy, this young boy will need many, many surgeries. His father, very handsome in civilian clothes and tiny mother with a small baby on her back bedecked in all her beaded finery are in great need of help.
We return to our ladies and finalize our purchases, making sure something was bought from everyone. All will eat tonight!
As we returned to camp the sun had already set behind the massive stunning Ngurinit rock formations. Ngorongong, abandoned by his father at age 6, who I have had the joy to watch grow into a young warrior, is playing his "pipe" flute, a gentle tune as dusk falls.
A rejuvenating tree shower awaits, followed by wine, campfire, new moon and my favorite.....the night sky!! Scorpio appears and flows into the sliver of the moon. The Milky Way slowly comes into view and the "night show" never stops entertaining . The Samburu sing and comfort the camels as they bed them down, the camels bawl their disapproval at being tethered for the night but soon the only sound is the wind whisper through the trees, the faint howl of a distant hyaena and the hiss of a dying fire.
To Happy Daze....