Mead Minutes: Touring Kenya

Dr. Tim Mead at work

Greetings from Kenya! I am sitting on the porch of the CURE Kijabe Guest House sipping my Kenya AA coffee and taking in the amazing beauty of the Great Rift Valley. Small birds are darting through the trees. I can even see a monkey in the branches down the hill. Following the rains, the valley is green with no dust devils tracking across. You can see many more houses in the valley floor than even a few years ago. Kijabe has undergone many changes since we left in 2011, but still ranks as one of the most beautiful places I have been in the world.

Our trip back to Kenya has been truly amazing in so many ways. When we arrived, we spent a couple days catching up with friends and seeing the hospital. Then, we arranged for a driver to come and take us for a few days on a safari into the Mara Game Park. The roads brought back memories as we bounced and dodged our way down the hill. Then, in Mahii Mahui town, we saw where a large fissure had split the road. The Rift is volcanic land and there are active faults still present. The report sounded like a biblical account where the earth suddenly opened up and swallowed people. The deep fissure had been packed in with dirt and rocks so traffic could cross the road. We very gingerly crossed as the driver, Julius, mentioned that he had heard reports the crack was still expanding. Hmmmm….

The road improved until Narok Town, and then for the final few hours, we had a bouncing thrill ride that gets you into the mood for safari. For two nights, we stayed in a tented camp called Sarova. The tents are not like what most people envision. They have bathrooms, showers, mosquito canopied beds, and wooden floors.

Some people know that I would love to be a game park driver. I thoroughly enjoy searching the hills, bush, and valleys. Julius did an amazing job finding the animals. We had a leopard walk right by the vehicle. We saw a group of five cheetahs. Elephants avoiding the wet ground were scattered all over the hills. Giraffe, zebra, gazelles, and so many more animals kept us smiling. Wow!

All too soon though, it was time to journey back to Kijabe. On our way back, we needed to take a slight detour to visit our Maasai friend, Helen. Helen is an amazing woman involved in many projects. Helen rescues young girls from female circumcision, sets up housing and training for Maasai widows, partners with a U.S. church to dig a well and run a water supply for many in the area, works for Kenya tourism, has established several schools, and much more. I get tired just talking to Helen; she is always on the go. We toured the compound. The children sang and recited poems. The well was providing water for people, animals, and a large garden. A sewing room was being used to teach and create items for sale. We could only stay a short time, but every minute was a joy. Julius was impressed that something this grand had been constructed in what most would classify the “bush.”

Mt. Longonot, Kijabe

We arrived back safely from our safari trip and struggled a bit up the final hill to the hospital. Refreshed, I looked forward to my CURE meeting.

Our CURE orthopedic surgeons arrived from Malawi, Zambia, Philippines, and Ethiopia and joined with the Kenya group. Greg, our CURE International Medical Director and “guest” anesthesiologist also joined the group. To say we enjoyed our discussion is an understatement. Ideas were shared. Wisdom exposed. Plans created. The meeting centered around three major areas of disabled children’s orthopedic care, but dealt with a wide range of subjects.

CURE Ortho Conference 2018

The needs for care are still God-sized challenges, but progress has been made. Maybe next letter, we can explore just a few of the life-changing aspects of the Harrisons stepping out in faith and starting CURE International.

For now, I think it is time to enjoy and walk along the escarpment before returning to pack for the long flights back to Michigan. As part of our devotions, I showed one of my favorite YouTube videos. It is by S.M. Lockridge and called, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.”

We live in fallen world where sometimes it looks like evil is winning. Wars, shootings in schools, corruption, disease, and on and on the list goes. But Christ’s resurrection reminds us all of that glorious truth, and we can face the trials of the day and walk in joy in His grip.