So yesterday was our drop-off, where we're dropped off in small groups
all around the city and told to get information about a specific site.
My site was the NAIROBI HOSPITAL!! We walked in and asked if we could
walk around and check out the facilities, and she told us to write a
letter to the hospital CEO explaining who we were. So we did, and
waited an hour and a half (people don't really DO the on-time thing
here, which might be a rough adjustment for me. They follow Africa
time.) Then the receptionist took us ALL around the hospital -- it was
amazing! We went in the endoscopy ward, regular ward, children's ward,
maternity ward, delivery ward...
everywhere! The charge nurses in each ward showed us the rooms, even
ones with people in them! We saw a newborn baby pass us by, and
children with casts and head bandages sitting in their “basking room”
– a playroom in the sun. This hospital is private and was founded to
serve the European population... so it was really really really nice.
Which surprised me! But the other group went to the "black" public
hospital, Kenyatta, which was waaaay less nice. So interesting to see
the remnants of colonialism. I kept wondering… “Where does all this
money come from??” I’m sure I’ll be answered in time. Our hospital had
MRI machines, endoscopy scopes, beautiful "en suite" private rooms...
and is also the most expensive hospital in Kenya. It was beautiful,
with open balconies everywhere, but they will also turn you away if
you can't pay straight-up. Real talk. It's so interesting to see the
dichotomies and divisions, and I can't wait to learn more about the
healthcare structure here.
Today we went into the city with our Swahili teachers and did a
walking tour of Nairobi. It's so interesting -- it's a regular city,
but everything is like 30 or 40 years old and hasn't been kept up at
all. It's like there was a big influx of money, but then everything
was abandoned. The buildings are dirty and cracked, there's trash
everywhere, the buses are old and the upholstery is splitting. There
are people EVERYWHERE, and they're all staring at us! We totally stick
out -- we saw a total of 10 other white people the entire time we were
in the city. I've never been such a spectacle before!
We had lunch at this place called "Sizzlin", which was super yummy!
Everything in Kenya is super starchy, so I'm probably going to have a
little belly when I get back : ) I had "chicken fry", which is
actually fried chicken, with chopati -- a sweet-ish tortilla thing. SO
GOOD! A group of girls and I all ordered different dishes and shared
them with each other, which made me feel like I have friends : ) At
the hostel, we've been eating mashed potatoes with peas, chicken,
french fries, beef stew with chopati... etc.