Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Together, "Yes, we can!"

The hospital is full. Yesterday's morning and afternoon rounds simply merged into a somewhat chaotic 12-hour shift. I'm sure Dr. Hardison went home and worked some more. Although I brought a couple of texts back to Rotary House, my own research into the diseases-of-the-day didn't last; I quickly fell asleep.

The usual cries of roosters and hadada ibis roused us at dawn, however, so I've been reading this morning about some of our current patients' problems: cutaneous anthrax (contracted by a farmer with a sick cow), a medullary tumor (defined by CT scan in Kisumu and attributed -- incorrectly, per LP results -- to cryptococcal meningitis), lumbar TB and pyelonephritis, to name a few. Other patients are suffering from perhaps more-familiar, but equally debilitating, malaria, bacterial infections, cancer and CVA.

Our housemate Abraham returned last night from a week-long HIV seminar in Kisumu, bringing tales of the Obama election celebrations there. Kisumu is the third-largest city (behind Nairobi and Mombasa) in Kenya. Abraham said a huge TV screen was set up outside in the city center, traffic was blocked off, and thousands of people watched and sang and danced and hugged for hours, as the election returns came in. He also reported that there was no beer left in the city, but that it was a joyous, peaceful (no-panga!) time.

Here in Western Province, home of the Luo tribe, the daily greeting is no longer the perfunctory "Jambo; habariacu?" ("Hello; how are you?") It is now, simply, "Yes, we can!" as people clasp hands and smile. Barack Obama's father attended the nearby Maseno School (until he was kicked out, per our President-elect's first book). We frequently walk by it, en route to St. Philip's.

Election day and the ensuing national holiday were quiet on the hospital compound, but joy continues to show on the faces of Maseno. We all pray for Barack Obama, his family and advisors, our countries and the world. And we give thanks for the hope that is now in the hearts of many for the first time in their adult lives.

"Together we can!" was the theme of the CCC orphans' Christmas party here last year. I blogged about it at the time, and then again in the aftermath of Kenya's elections in December. TOGETHER, "Yes, we can..." Hm. Isn't that the concept of community Jesus was talking about awhile ago, too? Inside the hospital and outside in the world, renewed hope inspires all of us -- sick and well -- as we begin another day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loved to hear of the peaceful, happy celebrations there and you put it beautifully, the hope that is born again all over the world with this election. Thanks also for the photos of home and hearth. It's good to be able to imagine you there.
Love, Julie