Somewhere in far western Kenya in the village whose name I did not catch I was adopted, taken in by a hard working nurse named Margaret at the local mission clinic. Clients with malaria, dysentery, typhoid, some 9 months pregnant line the cement porch of the makeshift hospital, a series of concrete and wooden buildings with sporadic electricity. Patiently, the villagers wait for their turn with Margaret.
Margaret, her plump spirited smiley face and shiny short curly hair tends to everyone who comes to her for care. 24 hours a day Margaret works caring for the communities health concerns. Margaret sees me on my bicycle near the entrance gate and she openly invites me to camp on the clinic grounds inside an extra delivery room, a wonderful shelter from the rain soaked humidity that echoes from the rain soaked hills near the Kenyan/Ugandan border.
As the full moon sparkles through the cracks of the wooden window, I set up my tent listening to Margaret preparing the room next to me. She is bringing large blue plastic jugs of water, numerous candles and mopping the floor with a grassy stick. She beams with anticipation going from my room to the next as she tells me she is expecting to deliver a baby because the full moon is good for new babies. I fall fast asleep.
In the morning, I open the door of the delivery room where I camped and peer into the open cracked wooden partition of the room next to me. I smile and say good morning to Margaret and a group of glowing new mothers, grandmothers, sisters and cousins taking turns holding their newest community member. Margaret tells me that the new baby girl is very tiny but strong with a good heart, Margaret had delivered the baby by candle light. I mention how well I slept and that I didn’t hear a thing. Margaret tells me that Pokot tribal women did not make noise when they deliver and they do not use drugs.
I thanked Margaret for the too short of visit and offer her a thank you gift of hydration salts, paracetomol and ibuprofen for malaria fever that I had in my bags. I say goodbye and cycle towards the Uganda border.
After the border formalities, I pedal to Jinja delighted by the Uganda welcome. The Uganda spirit equally as kind of the Kenyans with an extra splash of sunshine, the children wave and holler hello and the adults flag me down to say hello. Musical beats of African drumming and rhythmic hip hop pound out of every available shop. You have got to love a group of folks that always seem to feel like dancing, I think to myself as I cycle and smile at folks hanging out by the shop doors dancing while sitting, bopping while selling fruit, and singing while driving by me on their motorcycles.
If Africa kindness and good times stay this pleasant it might take me quite some time to pedal through Uganda into Rwanda for there are an awful lot of wonderful people to meet along the way.