By Joseph Onduto, Kendu Bay CHIC Coordinator
"This is an interesting account of the ups and downs of working in a Community Health Information Center in Kenya. The staff normally meets different obstacles along the way — from rough roads and bad weather to hostile clients. This time they literally have to cross a raging river. What is admirable is their neverending enthusiasm to serve people despite adversity."
— Pauline Karani, Program Manager, WiRED, Kenya
Kendu Bay is never quiet by day or night—even its rivers don't rest! Generally, it is common to see donkeys carrying water or women carrying sugarcane as they cross the river, Awach. On this day, the locals could witness a most unusual sight—the WiRED staff from the Kendu Bay CHIC on their way to a local school in Nyangajo carrying health awareness information across the river.
I guess I should explain how we got to the river in the first place as we do not normally adventure across the Awach to Nyangajo. We usually cross a familiar bridge, however the problem is that it takes much longer to get to Nyangajo. One of the members of the local community suggested that we take a shortcut. I mentioned that the river Awach is treacherous, but was told that, recently, a wooden bridge was constructed across the river.
So we took it on faith and headed towards Nyangajo. Many times, community members are anxious to assist strangers to achieve their goals; and, so, we got to the "bridge" via shortcut. Unfortunately, torrential rains had partially washed it away. This left us with one choice: SWIM! We reached our destination faster than we had originally thought, albeit wetter, but committed to the task ahead. Although we were soaking wet (talk about workplace hazards!), we completed our goal, which was to create an awareness regarding HIV/AIDS, and inform the students about our services at the CHIC.
Although our adventure in service created many challenges and obstacles that day, we did not get discouraged since we are driven by our duty to serve our communities. We are dedicated to a lifelong commitment to education, and that includes ourselves since we learned the day we crossed the river that taking a shortcut isn't always the best option.
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