• iabodeely

Update from Kenya

One of the recipients of St. Mary’s Outreach Fund is the Maseno Mission in Kenya. Dianne Smith, a friend of several St. Mary’s members, is a nurse and missionary from the Diocese of Massachusetts there. She sends this update:




Just a quick update because I can’t remember if I sent you any of the “Sister Mzungu” (“Nurse White Woman”) photos that Nan Hardison recently had snapped. It’s been a challenging time in Kenya. Students in Nairobi are getting restless about police brutality and demonstrating. Farmers in the Rift Valley are getting restless and demonstrating, too. They have been ordered by the government to “plant or face (unknown) punishment.” People are hungry here, but our neighbors are unable to plant even their family shambas/kitchen gardens because the costs of seeds and fertilizer have quadrupled with inflation in the past year. We already keep people extra days in the hospital (at discounted “boarding” rates) just to give them some extra nutrition. I’m sure we’ll end up with more emaciated patients as time goes on. I’m currently making rounds in a wheelchair since I messed up my knee trying to keep pace with a young, long-legged Kenyan friend who took me up and over the mountain to meet his baby daughter a couple of weeks ago. (It was worth it — Read the “I’m in Love!” entry in my blog.) It hasn’t slowed me down much, but I suspect it’s an aggravation to the folks having to push me over the uneven dirt and gravel between the hospital wards. I’ve also been working with four local nurses to establish two community pharmacies, a sort of micro-enterprise to benefit them, their orphan programs, and ideally the wider region. We hope it will be helpful to get good (vs. counterfeit) drugs to the people at reasonable prices. I’ve also been working on a CD project with the choir at St. Philip’s, in an effort to do some fundraising for Nan Hardison’s theological college students. They are the hope for the church’s — and their communities’ — future here. And we’re starting up a “Blankets for (Maseno) Orphans” program in the diocese (of Massachusetts)… Never a dull moment! Best to your family and the folks at St. Mary’s… Thank you all for your ongoing prayers. Dianne dianne.smith.rn@gmail.com http://heart-to-god.blogspot.com http://picasaweb.google.com/dianne.smith.rn
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