Nimepanda mlima juu nyuma springi. Alafu nimeogelea kwa chemchem. Because I’d been missing the freedom of strolling around in the wild like I used to do in Kenya, I went hiking the other day. I had seen a mountain behind Chemchem and I decided to try and reach the top. On my way I found a house in the middle of nowhere. A man was just standing on the terrace jawning. I told him I wanted to hike the mountain in Swahili and he was laughing. He told me: “Basi” – Leave it. He wanted to invite me for lunch instead. After I passed his house the narrow trail I’d been following became less and less prominent. From my time in Kenya I am used to observing the ground closely. In the beginning there were only a few, but at some point there were more hyena trails then human footprints. That is how you know you are in their territory.
As I didn’t know the area well and I was on my own, I decided to not go too deep into it. I just wanted to climb a little higher. That’s when I found leopard trails. They usualy drag their prey up a tree after the kill so that they don’t have to fight with other animals such as hyenas over it.
That’s when I heard the hyenas calling each other. I know that sound. I fell asleep to it many times in my time in Mara. I took a different route down the mountain following the sound of the water so that I reached Chemchem in the end. It is incredible how much wildlife there is so close to a hospital with an X-Ray machine, CT-Scan, incubators for neonatal care and more. I would have never known if I didn’t decide to go last Sunday and see for myself. Normally the people from the village don’t go hiking. I am wondering: How much are we missing that is just beyond our normal routine? Just beyond the brim of our plate one could say. I am so fortunate to have spend a long time in Kenya learning to value the feeling ‘the wild’ can give you. I am seeking that feeling since then and I am very grateful for having experienced it again just a teenie tiny bit. The best way to protect nature and animals is to teach humans to respect, admire and love it. When one thinks it a personal matter, one will be more likely to act.
As well as that small adventure I am really grateful for people I have met here. The orthopedic surgeon here as well as the doctor in charge of the intensive care unit and one nurse from there have proven to me again that friendship blossoms just the same inspite of us living a different way. The administrator of the hospital even took the time to spend an evening with us discussing everything from our ideas for improvement concerning the hospital to german football players. Thank you very much to all the staff and their families who we’ve met over the time.
And just as important as it is to connect with the locals it’s important as well to notice the others who came here like me. I cherish the people very highly who I can be with and who give you the feeling you can just be yourself. I met another german intern here from Munich and we found us as partners in crime very fast. It’s shocking how fast we as humans adapt, so the two of us kept reminding us and reflecting on the feeling of numbness and detachment you can undergo working in a hospital here. Every day you need to reflect or you won’t notice the little subtleties that make all of us human. We went to the spring almost every day after work and sometimes just gave each other company. Not everyone you meet with ‘clicks’, but when someone does I count myself very lucky.
I am off to playing volleyball now, thank you for reading 🙂