Sometimes, when there’s nothing to do…   1 comment

Saturday, April 4th, 2009
IU House, Eldoret, Kenya

Late last night, I was invited to go on a trip to Mt. Elgon to a nature preserve with a big group of people from the house.  As tempting as that sounded, I was still feeling jetlagged and frankly not sure I was looking for a hike up a mountain side just yet.  I went to bed expecting a nice relaxing weekend with nothing to do.  Sometimes, when there’s nothing to do, amazing things happen.

I started the morning taking my camera around the IU House grounds to try and capture some images of this beautiful place.  I’m not sure the pictures do it justice.  When you look at them, you have to imagine a warm breeze blowing through the leaves, the call of exotic birds all around and the smell of red clay and flowers newly opened with the onset of the rainy season.


One of the guards was sitting at the gate with his dog Jack and suggested I go visit River House at the end of the road (also a part of IU).  River House is gorgeous.  There are large glass doors with iron accents open so that the wind blows the white curtains through the rooms.  There is a small pool to the side of the house and beautiful landscaping all around.  Thinking I was alone in the house, I walked into the kitchen and startled Elizabeth who was preparing a meal.  I apologized for ‘sneaking’ around and she told me the lunch she was making was for a group of shelter children who would be coming to swim this afternoon.  She also said she needed a lifeguard.  More on that later…

I said goodbye to Elizabeth and made my way back to the hospital to see if I could find Emily and her grandmother.  Grandmother was sitting alone on the edge of Emily’s bed.  Emily was outside playing.  Through an interpreter, I learned that she likely had been suffering from Grand Mal seizures for the last 3 years for which she had not been receiving any treatment.  The pills she needed cost less than a penny a day.  I wrote a long note detailing her symptoms and with the Kenyan intern, made sure that her discharge papers included her much needed seizure medication.  I met with Emily and her grandmother back at her bed and made sure they knew how to take her medication.  Emily was discharged.  We are all hopeful that she begins to see some relief from her affliction.

So, I went back to River House to report for lifeguard duty.  When I got there, the kids were just getting into the pool and Colin (who had mostly gotten over his food poisoning) showed up to help as well.  It wasn’t long before we joined them in the pool.  We taught them how to play Marco Polo and followed that up with a game of Sharks and Minnows.  The kids had a blast and it was a nice treat to soak in a cold pool for an hour or so.

We headed back up to the IU house where two of the locals (Simon and Lea) were planning to cook dinner.  Traditional ugali and beef stew.  Mary, Ashley and I pitched in.  Ugali is very simple; boil water, pour in corn flour, stir until it’s done.  It was a lot of work, but the final product was delicious and it was fun to make it with people who grew up eating it.

After dinner, Ashley, Simon, Kelvin and I decided to take a taxi to town for some live music.  We headed to the Sesia Club at the Eldoret Wagon Hotel.  The sign read “Your fun and cheers hub”.  This was going to be great.  The band was called Ja’mnazi.  They are a Kenyan cover band playing traditional music from all cultures in the country.  There was a large dance floor flanked by tables where people sat drinking Tusker Beer.  The dance floor was always full of people in mostly western style dress, mostly inebriated, and dancing in a style that makes even me look like I know what I’m doing.   It wasn’t long before other friends from the IU House (Benson, Victor, and some others) joined up with us.  We listened to music and danced until 1 in the morning.  It was a great time. (Apparently, you cannot take pictures in clubs in Kenya, so you’ll have to picture it for yourselves.


Posted April 6, 2009 by chrislux in Travel

One response to “Sometimes, when there’s nothing to do…

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  1. Great stories and pics, Chris! We really enjoy reading them. It sounds like you\’re starting to settle in a bit. We hope all is well and think of you often. I\’m sure there will be more "Emily"s in the future, and we look forward to hearing their stories.

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