Saturday, February 14, 2009

Where's the Maytag?

Every woman, and I suppose and a few men, in America hate doing the laundry. However, we Americans have it made with our multi setting Maytag, washers and dryers. In Africa a Maytag washer consists of a tub of cold water and foot power, your own foot power. As far as those multiple setting you can choose from, well it just depends on your own leg power and how tired you are. Then there is the rinse and spin cycle, it also depends just how many times you want to rinse and wring and rinse and wring out your laundry. As for that matching Maytag dryer with several settings, there is none. You have to hang it on a makeshift clothes line out in the dust or "Jimmy Rig" a line from bed post to bed post in your room. Then one hopes it will dry within two days. I shared a room with six others from the team, and we always had underwear, socks, bras and "TG's" (temple garments as they call them) hanging everywhere.
Wash day and stomping on my laundry sort of reminded me of Lucy & Ethel stomping on the grapes for wine. Lucy and Ethel at least had a finished product they could enjoy. My laundry was not any cleaner after I stomped on it, but it did smell better! As for most of my clothes I left them there for someone who doesn't have clothes, as they don't mind if they aren't spotlessly clean, or neatly pressed.

African Traffic Jam!~~Molo's Mountain Village

Traffic jams in the US, are simple compared to the ones in Africa. Sitting on I-15 is a piece of cake compared to sitting on a two lane highway/dirt road in Africa. In Africa, traffic jams cause road rage at its best. Coming back from Molo, there was a police check point, where officer took a gentleman's license away. Oh hell this caused a major traffic jam and caused people to lose patience. There were people driving off steep embankments, some of who I thought would roll for sure. Others were driving in the bar pit, and driving four a breast, weaving in and out of cars, buses and trucks. All in an effort to get past the police check point and to get where they were going a little faster. I really wanted to yell out the window, "CHILL OUT, and we'll all be better off. After an hour of this mayhem, we were moving again and everyone seemed to get where they were going.

I wondered how Africans would drive here, and what they would think of our system. Obviously they'd be confused as the steering is on the right side of the car and they drive on the wrong side of the road. One thing is for sure they couldn't drive or act they way they do in Africa or they'd be sitting in the slammer!
Molo's Mountain Village

From Nakuru to Molo was a two hour ride, but I really enjoyed the sights and finally the road was paved, well was for the most part. The mountain village above Molo was very green, the fields well groomed, and the sky a crystal blue, with an elevation of 8800 feet. As the villagers saw the bus coming they ran to the church where we would be doing the medical, dental and vision screening. These people were extremely grateful for any thing we could did and most all left saying "Praise the Lord you helped me." Unlike the village above Nakuru, not one person got upset, angry or anxious. Over all they also seemed healthier than those in the other villages. The children were had the prettiest, whitest, teeth. They also laughed, smiled and were happy about everything, they as they don't any other world but their own small village.

Here in the US, we have such a complex medical record system, and you must sign a release form to get any of your own medical information. Also every thing is documented in detail, not only for the you as the patient, but to protect any health care professional. However, in Africa each individual carries their own medical record. It is a small piece of card stock with very little in formation on it.

My interpreter for the day in Molo was a young mother of three little boys. Joyce spoke very good English, she had a great sense of humor and was a very attractive women. Each village we went to I was amazed at the commitment of the interpreters to their people. Joyce was so enthusiastic about the day and was sad we did not have more villagers to see. Me on the other hand I was a little relived, as this gave me time to take some great photos of these gracious people.

While in Molo, we seen no tragic things. However, just two days before we came there had been a tractor-trailer carrying gasoline rollover, spilling gasoline all over. Hundreds of Africans ran trying to get free gas, when one of them lite a cigarette causing a massive explosion. The explosion killed several hundred, and burned countless others. The fire was so hot they had a mass grave for over two hundred fifty people, who were essentially cremated. We wondered if we would see any mild burns, or those who might have inhaled fumes, but we did not.

The day in Molo was very pleasant and we were finished by about three in the afternoon. We then had time to place a few games with the village children. These kids had never played Tag, London Bridges, Baseball, or jumped rope. Some of the kids got the hang of the games and some preferred to sit on the side lines and watch.