Last year, I traveled to Kenya. I wiggled my way into a medical mission at KenyaRelief.org. I know the resident missionaries, and I suppose I know a little bit about having a thyroid removed—therefore, in my mind I had some qualifications. It just so happened the week I picked to travel to Migori, Kenya was the ear, nose, throat team’s mission. Many issues around the thyroid that week. I learned that no sodium and a cabbage diet can lead to the growth of goiters (gigantic swollen thyroids).
Since I had no medical training, my assignments were: schedule surgeries, patient orientation (with a translator), monitor the surgery board, escort patients into the surgery prep area, and the task I gave myself—-help alleviate fear. Share my thyroidectomy scar. I had a translator and learned a few words. Jambo is the only word that stays with me. Jambo = Hello!
Our team of 22 visited nearby neighborhoods and our leaders introduced us to some of the locals. Proud, friendly, sometimes living without necessities, always living without luxuries. Mud homes, no modern plumbing, no toilets, no showers, and cooking over a firepit. Smiles and warmth.
I enjoyed every aspect of my trip to Kenya. Lucky me. We ended perfectly, on a safari. Photo shoots of wildlife in their natural habitat. Protected from human hunters, and posing for incredible pictures. Amazing!