Up until now, my de-worming clinic effort has been conducted fairly quietly. (I wasn’t even sure that the majority of the children knew that there was something going on.) So today we finally had a “family meeting,” and I explained that I was going to be working at the church tomorrow to provide assistance to children and families in our community. I asked the kids if they thought they could do anything to help, and if they would be interested in serving. I was pleasantly surprised with the response, as they all agreed that they would like to be involved.
Of course, Isaiah and Jonah have already been of help, going to town to pick up supplies for me. They went on Tuesday to get the medicine and some rubber gloves. Today I realized that the older kids taking tablets might want some water to drink, and we all agreed that a candy upon leaving would be a nice treat for the kids. So, the boys went back to town today to get a new pitcher (ours having lost its cover long ago and recently sprung a crack anyway), some paper cups, and bags of candy. Unfortunately, our neighborhood chemist was unable to procure the cups and there’s no where else in our village that has them, so I texted Marc a request to pick some up in town on his way home–he’s visiting a house church pretty far away in West Pokot today. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to get them, but if we have to resort to washing and re-using regular cups that’s okay, too; only a minor inconvenience.
So here’s the game plan we agreed upon: as people come into the clinic tomorrow, the younger children will act as “greeters” (all the African Mamas love greeting the little wazungu!). I’m sure blond, chubby little Enoch (age 2) will be a favorite. The trick will be keeping him out of trouble, so Rebekah is the designated greeter and “baby watcher.” Isaiah is going to staff the table and determine ages of children and the necessary doses of medicine. (Children under two take only half of the “single dose” bottle of liquid. If tablets, ages up to 4 take one, ages 5-12 take two, and 13+ take three). Rose and I will oversee and assist with medicine distribution. Deborah and Hannah will serve water to those who want it, and Jonah is the self-appointed “candy man.” If the littles start getting into too much trouble, they’ll either go outside to play or go home with one of the older kids (it’s particularly convenient being right across the street!)
Today I need to make up some sort of sign to announce the clinic. Publicizing an event like this is one of the challenges, as it really only happens through word-of-mouth, and I don’t know how effective we have been/will be with that aspect of it. However, from what I gather, things like this end up like Field of Dreams (“If you build it, they will come.”) I’m hoping that as a small number come in, it will attract others and the word will quickly get around. We’ll see…
The kids are already asking if they can come help with the larger clinic in the village center. That would be a logistical challenge, considering our family dynamics and the fact that the only method of transport is piki piki (motorbike). So that remains to be seen. But as to tomorrow, everyone is excited and ready to go!