Wamai Family Visit

Hey everybody, sorry for taking so long to post another entry. We have been traveling and I haven’t had internet access at all. I am in Kisii now in western Kenya and I am using one of my teacher’s internet flash drive things to get online. I’ll still go day by day with the posts but they might be a little shorter because I need to share this internet card with everybody.

On Wednesday we traveled to north to Nyeri to visit Dr. Wamai’s house and to spend the day with his family. We drove on a narrow dirt road for the last mile to get to his house, branches wacking the bus as we went. When we took a right into his yard we got a first glimpse of his house. It was a small, one story house made of cement about the length and width of our kitchen to the fireplace. In that they had a kitchen, living room and three bedrooms, all only as big as they had to be. There was a tin bathroom stall outside with an opening in the floor, there was a pen for a cow and two goats and a path next to it that led to the farm. We went down the path and on either side of us we were surrounded by trees or crops. There were avocado trees, guava trees, corn and sugarcane stalks, coffee bushes, and a bunch of vegetables. On the walk back up to the house I gnawed on a stick of sugarcane and ate guava. The sugarcane is really good. To eat it you rip off parts of it with your teeth and then suck out all of the juice (which tastes like sugar) and then spit out the actual stalk.

We went back up to the house and had tea, fruit, and mundazi under a tent that they put up for us. The mundazi was homemade and delicious. After tea we walked on the dirt road for probably 3 miles to the area health center. On the way we stopped at a waterfall that had a cave under it where the Mau Mau used to hide to avoid being killed or arrested by the British. It was a beautiful place but it smelt awful because the water was all sewage. Dr. Wamai told us that his mother was arrested and spent three years in jail for feeding the Mau Mau that hid in the cave. After we explored the waterfall for abut a half hour we made our way to the health center. We spent a while there learning about what they do and it was interesting for sure but I was so tired that I actually fell asleep standing up and woke up when I felt myself start to fall hahaha. It happened two or three times. The clinic was a level 3 health center which is the third from the highest level besides Kenyatta national and a few others that are considered “level 6” because the Ministry of Health has no control over how they run and the services they provide. The levels are granted based on the types of services that health centers provide to patients. I don’t know the specific requirements for each level but I know that level one is a village drug dispensary, 2 can give drugs and has maybe a clinician or two that can work with patients, and I know that the difference between level 3 and level 4 is the presence of a maternity wing. At the clinic Dr. Wamai got tested for HIV and was negative thank god. That would have been a rough turning pint for our trip!

Charles came on the bus and picked us up so we could head back to Wamai’s house for dinner. When we got there, Aliazar slaughtered the goat and they cooked it quickly. They made so much food for us! Rice, beans, cabbage, goat, chicken, chapatti, ugali, and mukimo. It was ok, the chicken was tough and I was too sick of goat to eat any of that but the chapatti, rice, and beans were good.

Then we had a bonfire, Russ told a ghost story and Sara was rattling off riddles that nobody could figure out. Wamai’s mother told a story in Kikuyu and he translated for us. It was a great way to end the night and we were all excited to go to our new hotel, take a shower and go to sleep.

Wamai Family Visit

One thought on “Wamai Family Visit

  1. Tris says:

    Great updates Sam. Not sure how you can be tired of learning about the health care system, but man I am tired of picturing you eating goat meat!! Loved the image of you eating sugar cane though. Big grad party weekend – we have had great weather and a wonderful time with friends and family. Of course that makes us miss you even more –
    stay safe and hurry home…Tris

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