Michael recovered fully from a brief illness yesterday. About half the team has been sick on one day or another.
Today I performed a revision bilateral lip repair on a 6 year old and a primary lip repair on a one year old. Both patients were Somali refugees living in Nairobi. Somalia is one the only countries in Africa where the indigenous people share a common language, yet civil unrest persists.
Most of the African nations were created by European powers at the Berlin Conference in 1884. National boundaries were more drawn based on European colonial interests, rather than historical ethnic boundaries. Kenya has 45 spoken languages. Kiswahili and English have been adopted as the official languages in Kenya. Children study both in school, but typically speak their ancestral language at home.
At the end of the surgery day, we packed up our disposable supplies for the team returning in November. We completed surgical repairs in 34 children who otherwise would live with a cleft lip or palate. This was actually a much smaller yield than previous trips, and the patients were noticeably younger, suggesting that after 16 years, we have improved the backlog of unrepaired clefts. Finishing our work three days ahead of schedule, we made plans to see more of Kenya…
God has provided abundantly.