Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Baby pics!

Yesterday, since I was already in Nairobi for another errand, I decided to go ahead with my drop-in ultrasound that my OB/GYN had written orders for a few weeks ago.

Looks like baby girl May is growing along just fine, with no worries to report.  She is right on track for 28 weeks, 5 days in all of her growth, with average weight predicted…..which is great news when you have gestational diabetes & have already had one baby born with shoulder dystocia.

Here are my two favorite pics.  Unfortunately, the profile picture of her face isn’t the best because the umbilical cord kept waving back and forth in front of her face during the scan.

The large blob on the left is the profile of her skull, with the eye socket, mouth and a hand reaching up towards the mouth...


And then this picture is of her hands:

One hand is open (left), the one on the right is fisted

 It was great to see blood flow, the heart functioning and everything else as it should be.  I’ll have one more of these types of scans in another 4 weeks for purposes of growth monitoring with my diabetes, which means that this baby will have had more ultrasounds than all of my other pregnancies combined!


Wrong Target

So, it looks like the stork that was stalking me had the wrong target.

The “real” stork made a real visit to Karibu Centre this last week though.

We welcomed our the first baby to one of our vulnerable young pregnant women this week, and what a week it was.

On Monday morning we were informed that the president was declaring Tuesday a holiday.  As in the next day.  National Census Day.   Hey, we’d take a day off!   We were lucky enough though to be informed by one of the nearby elders that our house would be first on the census roundup and to make tea for him at 7pm Monday night.   The census itself was pretty uneventful.  I was glad that we had our “house visit” at 7pm and not at 10pm like our neighbors.

 So, you can imagine my surprise when I heard a rap, rap, rap on my bedroom window at 5am in the morning on our holiday!  I climbed out of my securely zipped up net and peeked out my window to see both of our night security guards looking at me.  “One of the girls is sick” the younger guard mumbled out.  I threw on some clothes and walked over in the still dark morning to investigate.

A short investigation indicated that this girl probably wasn’t just sick, but experiencing some serious Braxton-Hicks, or in premature labor.  We were supposed to have another month or so to go here!  I loaded the girl and our house mother who had arrived one day prior into the car, and off we went to the Municipal Hospital.

Many visits and a day later, Karibu Centre had it’s first mother and son!  Baby and mother are doing fine, and we are busy getting them into all of the necessary appointments they need. 

Beyond that, the whole experience was such an eye opener.  It is something to experience the different foods, or social customs of a culture….and then entirely something different to go with a regular Kenyan to experience the whole hospital/labor/and newborn experience.   The Municipal Hospital here in Thika is the only one around for quite a ways, so it is our option for the pregnant women  here at the Centre. 

I am trying to think of something to compare it to in the States.  I’m not sure that I can.  I guess when you lack the infrastructure to have the necessary number of trained nurses and doctors, then you end up with 15 laboring women sitting in a hall on benches and the floor waiting for the 1 doctor or nurse on duty to make it around to them.  In this instance, it really appeared that the women in the most obvious pain got served first.  Fortunately, at 5am in the morning, with no one around,  a young nurse caved in to the pushiness of a white woman and our girl got seen.  I was pretty proud of myself for pushing her to the front of the line.  Unfortunately, the day nurse didn’t favor me so well, and I had to stay sight unseen in the afternoon after the nurse yelled out, “Who is with that mazungu?  You can wait!”  I’m thinking that the nurse might be bought off with a nice thank you card from Karibu Centre (for bringing the first Centre baby into the world….) and some chocolates.  That should make her a little more willing to like me, for the next mother’s sake.  Either that, or I’ll stay home and let our wonderful Kenyan house mom and social worker do the hospital drops!

For the next mothers, I have learned that the following needs to go into the hospital bag:  Bottle of bleach, cotton rolls, washing up basin, hot water thermos (for tea), and nappies and other clothes for the baby.  Silly me, I just packed clothes for the mother and baby this time.  Who woulda thought that one had to provide their own sterilizing solution, cotton and wash basin???  Good thing there was a nice little shop outside the hospital perimeter selling the necessities.  Quite handy!

The local hospital experience was sobering.  Too many patients, not enough staff.  No supplies.  Sanitation standards that we haven’t seen in the States in decades.  Wheel chairs without their wheels and foot rests.  Hospital beds leaning to one side (perhaps because they are sitting 3 people deep?).  And oh the smells emanating from those buildings.  They really don’t translate into type.

I am thankful that we have access ourselves to good medical care and that through the work of the Centre we are able to ensure better medical care for these women than they would ever be able to receive otherwise.

HP Computer: 2 Ian and Anne: 0

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you’ll remember that we had to buy a new laptop in March, and then immediately had problems with it.  If you can’t remember, here’s a refresher:

We”ve been doing pretty well with the computer after the HP chick in India stripped and completely reinstalled the operating system…..until this week.

That feared message of  there being an error with the hard drive & the warning to back everything up before it is forever lost came up.

We bought the warranty for this computer.  (Hah!!! The Hard Drive warning message just popped up again!!!)  They (Best Buy) assured us it would be covered all around the world.  Upon clarification when we had problems, well…….They would pay for it, after we took it to a warranted dealer/distributor and then sent them copies of the bill and warranty.  What is it about all of that song and dance that makes me believe that we’d never see a dime of reimbursement for the repair/replacement?

I’m trying not to be bitter.  But come on!?!   So, we called HP.  Of course, they would ship us a replacement hard drive immediately.

Oh, but not outside of the United States, and the hard drive would need to be returned in the original box to HP within 15 days. 

I don’t know about you, but a computer box is not one of the essentials I keep out of a storage space when I’m packing up my entire life, let alone something I “keep” with a dear relative “just in case”.   That’s what I do with my will and life insurance papers!   And, it might just be me, but I don’t think that Kenya Posta has proved reliable enough to get something important to the States…..let alone within 15 days.

Sooooo….We’re open to grand ideas.

Our best idea yet is to Fed Ex our hard drive to a relative in the states, call HP and ask for leniency on the “original packing requirement”, have the relative call HP for the replacement drive, receive the replacement hard drive, then have them ship the defective hard drive back to HP, then somehow get the replacement hard drive to us here in Kenya, preferably in person (again, that whole getting through customs ….and the mail service hasn’t been so reliable).  If seeds can’t get through, I’m not thinking that a HP laptop Hard drive will either.

Or just go and buy a freakin new one.

Again, we’re open to ideas all of you smarty pants.  And I mean that with all due respect!

Cute ‘lil thing

We’ve finally succumbed and have become a 2 computer family…that is 2  computers completely owned by us.  We decided to look into a netbook for me…cute, little and just the right price for  looking on the internet and blogging.  What else does one really do anyhow??  At least, “What else does Anne really do anyhow?”

Here’s what I ended up getting with some handy 1st hand review information from my friend Rhett Lee. 

As opposed to the last computer purchase previously discussed in another blog, I went and test drove web books so I would know exactly what I was getting.   I like this picture because it actually shows how small it is.  It is a heavy web book though at 3.2 lbs.  With that, it still has a 10.2 inch screen and nicely spaced keys.  Oh gosh, I’m getting kind of geeky talking specs like that.  Stop me please!  Next thing you know, I’ll be talking like this about cell phones!

Anyhow, what with moving and all (yes, we are finally out of the house and it is sparkling clean for the renter), this is the best post you are getting.

I know, I know.  Where are the cool pictures from the Tacoma visit, or Eli’s early birthday party with his buddy Jackson?  Or last minute get-to-gethers with friends?  Still safe on the camera, which was thankfully found.    I’ll write “blog update” on my to-do for leaving for Africa in 5 days list.  Right there with “change life insurance beneficiaries” and “write will”.

Phew.  I’m ready for bed.  Are you as tired as I feel?