Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Morning, Noon and Night

James, the evangelist, led our small Morning Prayer service at the hospital. "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" is beautiful in Swahili. I felt both surprised and honored to be invited to read the Christmas narrative from the Gospel of Luke, and, later, to be invited to offer the closing prayer. It was hard to hold back my tears. After hospital rounds, I succumbed.

Two patients died last night: Rose had been in a meningitis-induced coma for three weeks, and a newly-admitted baby never recovered come to understand that it might help to be tested, for her own sake as well as for the sake of any possible future pregnancy/ baby. If a woman is known to be HIV-positive, the risk of maternal-child transmission can be significantly reduced.

It was a very full day. Gerry never got home for lunch, but he managed to do morning and afternoon rounds, two endoscopies and a colonoscopy; then he discharged every patient possible home for Christmas. And, yes, Ruth was finally transported, too. At midday, Nadia and I took boda-bodas to the Maseno Stores' cybercafe a couple of miles away. Time was at a premium, and we wanted to let our families and friends know we are thinking of them this Christmas Eve. Nadia received her own Christmas gift, in the process: a photograph of herself with a Masaai -- at no charge! -- whom we met on the road. The only thing missing from the photo is his cell phone.

Lala salama (Sleep safe/well), dear ones... and to all a good night.

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