Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who helped me travel to Kenya. It was an amazing trip with amazing people. Everyone was so kind and generous. I hope to travel to India next January to do a similar outreach, in the mean time I will be working with my professional pharmacy fraternity in clinics around Rochester.

Here is a link to our fundraising website. A couple brothers travel on mission trips to El Salvador as well as Kenya with me, and we are also sending brothers to our national meeting to help grow the fraternity. This will allow us to do even more outreach abroad and in Rochester. Every little bit it greatly appreciated. <3

Click here to see our donation page!

Home sweet home

After mike carrying a 30lb vase through multiple airports we arrive in Rochester. We wait in baggage claim for our luggage. We each find one of our suitcases. As we are waiting for the second, Chris mentions how she smells Amurula (the amazing elephant liquor from Africa that we brought back with us). We joke how she probably is missing it. Nope, a 1 liter bottle broke and spilled inside my one suitcase. I now have a suitcase full of soggy newspaper and Mikes shoes. Luckily his shoes are clean and only one bottle broke. But anyways, turns out they left our second luggage in JFK. So i have no personal luggage. We fill out a report and go back to my apartment. Turns out the vase broke :( This vase was so cool! It was giraffe print and made of clay. It must have broke during a landing. Oh and 2/3s of my pictures are MIA at the moment on my now corrupted memory card. But despite all the bad luck we had on our returning flight, we all made it home safe, had and awesome time, and our luggage was delivered.

 I will forever have a place in my heart for the Kenyan people and everyone I worked with. We had an amazing group. <3

Here is the link to our group photo sharing page. (there are tons of pictures unfiltered)


Bye Kenya!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Yellow Fever Vaccine?!

So as I'm sure most of you know  when you travel somewhere you need to check to see which immunizations you need in the new country. As Chris Mike and I are checking it out we get the usually Typhoid, and Hep shots. Yellow fever is one though that is very very expensive but is necessary in some African countries. After some research and information from  multiple sources it was not required for Kenya, but wouldn't hurt to get if for whatever reason we had to flee the country and enter a country that required it.  Yellow fever is a vaccine where you need a verification card that says you got it and some countries will not let you in unless you have the verification card. Now I already had mine from a previous trip, Chris decided to get it to be safe, Mike on the other hand chose not to get it because it was not a required vaccination and it was very expensive. Had I been in Mikes shoes I wouldn't have gotten it either.

Now. Today we are at the Kenya airport checking in to leave Kenya and fly to our connecting flight in Johannesburg, South Africa. The attendant asks for our yellow fever vaccination card. Mike does not have one. She states it is required to leave Kenya and fly to South Africa. We try to tell her we are only there for one hour to switch flights, but no you must have it. Shoot. Ok so we walk across the street and upstarts to the Kenyan port health office. We wait in line. Mike and I ate KFC earlier and Chris is starving so she goes back to the airport to grab something to eat and we will meet her at the gate. Finally its Mike's turn.

Mike is standing at the desk for a while and I start to get nervous outside so I walk in. The Kenyan officer just keeps saying over and over how he is going to stay in Kenya for 10 more days because that is how long you have to wait for the vaccine to be effective. OMG. Ok so Chris has all the phone numbers and contact info for Millie's family. My head is racing with ideas on what to do. The officer is talking about how he should have googled it, and how is it that I have mine and Mike doesn't have his. He then says the vaccine will be 1,500 ksh but "hopes we have more on us." Ok how much do I have? Probably not enough. Crap. We keep telling him we can't stay 10 more days but he keeps replying I don't have to stay but Mike does. Mike asks if he's kidding. He replies "what do you think."  I'm freaking out at this point. Not a clue what to do. I guess if worst came to worst I could go and track Chris down in the airport grab the numbers, and have Kevin come back and pick us up....The officer hands Mike a receipt and has him pay the 1,500 ksh. He WAS kidding thank god! Mike goes to get his shot and comes back. They have to back date his verification card to May 30th so he can pass through South Africa.

WooHoo we will make it to America!

Masai Market

Before we leave for our flight we have to buy more souvenirs of course. After driving around for about an hour and a half we get to the market. Haggle for a few items and walk away with some good purchases. Each vendor would say "this price, because it is morning" or "you are my first customer, they say this is good luck." Moses sold me a vase and a painting for a "good" deal because his sister is in america and we take care of her. Basically I still got ripped off after haggling down from 12,000 ksh to 1,600 ksh. Oh well hope he uses the money wisely.

On our way back we fill up with KFC and stuff our faces in the car so we can leave on time and make our flight.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Once again we all wake up early for a long car ride. It seems like we have spent days in the car, we have almost become one with the van. We start our long trek back to Nairobi. On our way we stop for souvenirs in the city and for some formal Kenyan wear. I only tried some of the Kenyan wear on. As usually we skipped lunch and were super hungry while we shopping and ordered some of the worst attempt at pizza I have every had.

Once we get back to Millie's brothers house the power goes out as usual. We all get dressed for dinner in the dark. Tonight we are going to the Carnivore restaurant as a thank you to us all from Millie. As the name implies there is TONS of meat with the most amazing sauces every. They start with a wonderful vegetable soup and salad. There is a flag in the middle of the table and when it is up the will continue to serve meat, and when we surrender the flag no more meat will be brought. The meal started with very good "normal" meat like chicken, pork, turkey, sausage. Soon they started to bring out ostrich, croc, lamb liver, and ox balls. The ostrich was very good and yes we all tried the ox balls. They weren't that bad but as you are eating them you  continuously think about how they are ox balls and then your stomach turns. After the meat they had desert for us. Deserts are not Kenyans specialty. I ordered cheesecake which turned out to be more of a pudding pie flavored cheesecake. I stuck to my coffee. The drivers ate with us thanks to Greg and Chris who bought them the dinner. At the end of dinner Marcos told us how he really felt a part of this group.

After dinner we went back to the house to pack up,  as our flight leaves tomorrow. :(

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hippos, crocs, and a cheetah oh my!

Today begins our full day game drive. We wake up early and see a cheetah sitting on the side of the road. As we are watching it another van drives up and a person in the van is yelling and scares the cheetah aware and into the grass where we can no longer see him. He was beautiful though.

We then drive around and see some lions. It was a whole lion family. After being patient the baby lions get up and walk to the shade. The female lion follows. Then the male lion gets up and walks over. When he gets there the female lion gets up and gives him a lion kiss. It was so adorable!

We pick up threat of our group and drive to the river. When we get there there are tons of hippos just hanging out outside the water, which is very rare to see in the middle of the day. They grunt as we walk down the trail with our guide. We then see some crocs and zebras. The croc almost fully blends into the mud. I would not have spotted it unless I was told it was there. 

We drive and find a spot to eat our lunch. The drivers warn us about leaving our food out because the monkeys will steal it. Mike gets up and sure enough a monkey dashes over and snatches his piece of bread. We begin to feed them which we probably shouldn't do but they are jut too cute to resist. 

We get back, play pool and rest up for our journey back to Nairobi tomorrow. The hyenas today were just as scared as before but there wasn't as many.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Clinic day 4 Masai Mara & safari

We wake up early for a early morning game drive. We are extremely lucky and see a leopard! He poses. For us then walks through all the safari van slowly enough for us to take pictures. It's amazing how close the animals get to the vans, it almost doesn't phase them. I liked the leopard the best. He was a small leopard probably not fully grown yet. The sunrise was beautiful across the Mara too.

After breakfast we head out to a Masai village to do a clinic. When we get their there is a nurse that regularly works there and a small pharmacy we set up in. The Masai have almost no fly reflex and there flys crawling all over the children. There were not as many people coming to this clinic, probably because it was so remote. There wasn't as much high blood pressure as in the city here again. Chris was very exhausted and rested at the hotel so we adopted Sherri to help run the pharmacy. We did pretty well.
We spend the rest of the day at the pool, entering paper work for our research, and playing pool.Alfred  learns how to swim since he has only ever swam in rivers and not in a pool. We don't go on an evening game drive because tomorrow we are going on a full day game ride which will take up a lot of gas. 

The hotel manager somehow finds out about our clinic and the people at the gate begin to ask for something because we have gotten a deal to come in th park. Corruption is everywhere in Kenya and people will do anything to pad their pocket. We agree to do a small clinic at the hotel because they insist. Turns out almost every has extremely high blood pressure except the one older man who eats outside the hotel. The food here must be loaded with salt. We follow up with blood pressure readings tomorrow before dispensing meds.