Monday, November 07, 2016

Eye Clinic Volunteer Optometrist Checking Reading For New Glasses Perscription

Assistant In The Eye Clinic With Eye Chart

Optometrist Examing KMET Client

KMET Eye Clinic

Dear Everyone,

I am very proud to tell you that KMET opened their first volunteer Eye Clinic.  It is staffed by an Optometrist that I met a couple of years ago, and this year when I came back here, he agreed to volunteer weekly in the KMET Eye Clinic. 

Some of you may remember that in 2011 I helped to start the KMET Dental Clinic which continues to thrive.

This Eye Clinic is just starting, but there is a big demand.  Many people here don't go to get their eyes checked, especially people who can't afford to get exams, let alone glasses.

Our Eye Clinic is low income, and the Optometrist that is volunteering also has a shop where he manufactures lenses for frames that he sells for a low cost.  He has even agreed to take a small down payment for the glasses and allow our client to pay the balance off and still get their glasses.

Yesterday, the first day, we saw 10 people; some of whom were our staff.  The Eye Clinic will be open every Monday morning from 8am to 1pm.

In addition to the Optometrist, Gordon Abonyo, he also brings an assistant, and all of the machines and equipment that he uses including an array of frames.  So we have to send a vehicle to pick him up each time.  Hopefully, we will be able to make the Eye Clinic permanent like the Dental Clinic, Lab, Medical Clinic, Pharmacy, and Youth Friendly Clinic among other services.

So, for me and for KMET, another great day.  I am very proud that I was able to do this.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Pink and White At Home

Wednesday, November 02, 2016


Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Final Phase of KMET Building

Remodeling KMET Cafeteria

Juliet, KMET Intern

Blog From Kisumu November 2016

Kisumu, Kenya

November 1, 2016

 Dear Family and Friends,
I haven’t written before this because I have been pretty busy working, and I don’t usually carry my laptop home at night or on the weekends, but I have found a quiet moment today, so here I am.

 I don’t know about the weather where you are, but it is dam hot here!  In the 90’s every day with a bright relentless sun overhead.  We only had rain a couple of times, and except for once, it was not heavy.  The other night however, the heavens opened up big time with thunder, lightning, wind, and inevitable loss of power.

 The rains were supposed to have come, but they have not, and like the rest of the world, the weather patterns seem to have changed.  If there is global warming, it is surely here in Kisumu, Kenya, although there are places not too far from here where it rains heavily every night.

 I also haven’t taken very many photos – also because have been busy, but one that you will see on this blog is of Juliet, a young intern who I was teaching to photograph, and also got this nice photo of her.  The other couple of photos are from my phone and will show you some of the work I am doing.

 As you may know, I am helping KMET build the final floor of the building I started here in 2009, and subsequently added another floor and also another entire building.  But this is supposed to be the final phase.

 The photo with the “scaffolding” – Kenyan style is the building where we are adding the final floor.  The other is a small remodel of the KMET “Cafeteria” used mostly by the staff.
I am going to try to take one more photo to add to this blog of my good friend “Sunday” who Hinda and I love very much.  We help her with her education, and she also takes good care of me.  She is really a very good, kind, caring person, and I appreciate her company, although she has a very rough schedule between her university classes, her church attendance, and she has just gotten a job volunteering with the Kenya Red Cross.

 If anything, the roads and traffic have gotten worse.  If you haven’t been here, you wouldn’t believe it anyway no matter how I try to explain it.  The roads are so full of holes that roads is not even the proper word to use to describe them.  I have been traveling around town on the back of a motorbike – piki piki, but have decided that it is just too dangerous.  Most drivers don’t have a license and/or are drunk.  So I have been using tuk tuks – a small covered 3 wheel cart that holds about 3 people.  Very bouncy.  Safer, but not safe.

 But at work, the KMET vehicles take me where ever I need to go which is convenient and safe for me. 

I continue to learn Kiswahili and can get along pretty well,  and I have also learned some of the local language from this part of the country – Dhluo, the language of the Luo’s (Obama land).  But the most fun is to mix them up with English.  I have always been good with language and like to learn.  Even though I am a better speaker, Hinda always is able to understand pretty well even though she can’t speak.  So, after 56 years, we are still a good team.

Even though I am doing good work that I enjoy, I miss home.  I can’t work much past the midafternoon because I am a fast worker because of my “can do American culture” compared to a slower pace of life here, and the heat tires me out.

I have been doing a lot of fundraising which has been going well; negotiating contracts with contractors and other suppliers and “fundi’s” – workers.  So at the end of the day, am raising money and trying to not spend too much.  It is pretty much expected here to negotiate and bargain, and after so many years of this, here and around the world I can do ok at it.

The mobile phone system leaves a lot to be desired,  Most people carry two phones with two different numbers from two different carriers, but that doesn’t always mean that the phone works,  Last night, no phone service from 4pm to 7am this morning.

I do most of the cooking at home, but a lot of the meals are made from scratch so it takes time – except breakfast.  Have learned to be a pretty good cook I think.  My friends seem to like it, at least they say so, but also take extra portions.

And now a word about time.  You know there is African Time (I don't mean a time zone), and there is "mzungu" - white or American time.  "Ne'er the twain shall meet".  It is difficult to get used to sometimes, especially if you are a bit compulsive like me, and usually get to places early, rather then late.  So they say, "There is no hurry or rush in Africa", and a truer statement there never was.  I'm have learned a lot of things but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to be comfortable with African time.  On the other hand?  Maybe I should.  But then, I wont get as much time.  As George Bernard Shaw once said, "Give me enough time, and I'll write you a short enough letter".

So, I'm sitting here in my too hot office area, well past 2pm waiting for the bank to have called more than an hour ago to tell me the status of the KMET loan I have negotiated, and the most recent status update is "bado bado"  Not yet!  So I'll just have to wait as hard as that is for me.

Finally, like you probably, I am following the election back home and don’t know what to think.  I listen to the BBC radio news and also follow on line.  One week from today it will all be over and so I will come home to a new President Elect.

Well, maybe enough rambling for now.  I’ll be home at the end of November.  I miss home, friends, family, and dog Chico!

Peter  (Omosh – the name everyone calls me here at work.  Omosh is a nickname for Omondi – one who is born early in the morning – I was)