Yesterday and much of today was spent reviving the Toyota Van. Although the Toyota is the older of their two vans it is the transportation work horse. A diesel powered four wheel drive that takes us everywhere where no vehicle should travel including pot hole riddled roads and washed out roads and muddy cow paths that eventually lead to some one's house. Like most tasks here, this job was a bit more challenging when you work without the needed tools. With a bit of creativity and improvising using the few tools that is here we managed to replace engine fuel and oil filters and oil plus a couple of disintegrating noisy wheel bearings.
I suggested to my helper that we could use some solvent to clean the old grease out the bearings. About 15 minutes later one of the orphans came back from the petrol station with a small "non CSA approved" container of gasoline. It did the job.
Later this afternoon Carolyn and I travelled with Mary #2 as she did some house needs assessments. From this list they will prioritize the builds. At least one widow appears near ready for us to start building next week. She, with the support of a few neighbours has gathered much of the branches and small trees that will be used as building materials - by Albert
A downpour and a minor road washout.
While Albert was busy with the van I met with the nurse on staff at the orphanage who had just returned from her Christmas break. As the 300 orphans return after their stay with relatives over the break her first task is to test all incoming children for diseases such as typhoid, malaria, brucella etc..
The medicine supplies have been depleted and they are hoping some year end donations will allow them to make the needed purchases. The government supplies vaccinations for polio and rabies free of charge, but not typhoid. In addition to medicine they also have a desperate need for more mosquito nets. The treated ones cost around 300 Kenya shillings – that’s about $4 CDN
(I’ve been robbed –I paid $60 for ours at the travel clinic in Ottawa).
The folks here thank God that they hadn’t experienced a typhoid outbreak in 2012 like they did in 2011. The 2011 expenditures for medicine and vaccines averaged about $120 US per day. In 2012 about $1200 US carried them for the whole year.
We hope to build a house for these three orphan brothers who live in this dilapidated house that once belonged to their parents. They live on the family plot and grow their own food with a little help from a neighbouring uncle.
This wood will used to construct roof trusses for a house we hope to start next week
Nothing attracts a crowd of kids like a couple of Mzungus