When we scheduled our trip they allowed you to fold in two weeks of vacation time...one at the beginning, one at the end. You could use it for travel or to do extra time working on the wards, the choice was yours. When we flew in Dr. J hit the ground running. In April they'd send everyone home and it wasn't until May 1st that we learned that we would be allowed to come. Then there were the bombings in Nairobi. We knew at any minute they could decide that for the safety of the participants and the program people would have to leave and so we decided ahead of time that Dr. J should start as soon as possible and work as much as possible so that he could maximize his time on the wards in case we had to leave at some point. Because of that we went straight from Chicago, to London, to Nairobi, to Eldoret and then the second full day we were there, when everyone was still suffering for jet lag and he still technically had five more days of vacation Dr. J headed off to wards. We ended up being lucky. Even though there were two more horrible terrorist events in the country (on the coast) the program deemed us far enough away that we were allowed to stay and Dr. J was able to fulfill two full rotations on the wards, one in medicine and one in peds. That gave us a lot more freedom when we were leaving country.
Our first little vacation blip came in the fact that while I'd intended to get the flight with only a two hour layover in London I'd accidentally clicked on the one with the 10 hour layover and purchased it without noticing. When I first discovered this I was a little distraught, thinking about trying to fill 10 hours in a airport with four kids but then it hit me, why not leave the airport. So I talked to Dr. J and we decided to make a jaunt outside the airport. The second little blip came in the fact that we didn't fly out of Kenya until Sunday night. Dr. J's vacation technically started that Monday but he decided he'd work until we left but on the weekends the whole area shuts down and if you aren't out doing something you are bored. Plus we'd heard that even though there are two flights from Eldoret to Nairobi on Sunday, the afternoon flight often gets cancelled but taking that 7 o'clock morning flight out of Eldoret and sitting int he Nairobi airport until 11:30 at night just seemed like a nightmare. We were still debating what to do when Kristin planned our Navisha/Nakuru trip a month before we left....on the way home we just left her in Nakuru and she did some travelling before she headed to Nairobi. We left Hannah as well and some friends came and picked her up and took her to Nairobi. Meanwhile poor Corinne had to drive all the way back to Eldoret with us and then fly back to Nairobi the last night. It was crazy. At Navisha we were less than 80km from Nairobi.
We knew the program directors like to encourage people to fly because the roads can sometimes be less than ideal but we already driven almost all the way there and we thought it would be much more fun to have a little adventure before we left town then to stay at the compound over the boring weekend and then be stuck at the airport. So we talked to JJ, the guy who heads the internal medicine residents and students, and he said, "what you do on your vacation time is your business." So we planned on overland exit that would cover several days. I'm going to link them all here below but add them separate or this post would be a million scrolls long. Hope you enjoy this last little bit because I think this concludes most of our Kenya pics. We have a couple more things to add, an our favorite places list, Dr. J's feelings on working in the hospital, my negative feelings towards Toms shoes right now, but this is most of what is left, so hopefully you won't be too overwhelmed.
OUR LONG JOURNEY HOME:
Lake Navisha Area
Lake Oloiden - Hippo Boat Ride...video of hippos in the water and on land plus birds everywhere video
Mount Longonot - The Volcano Hike that Didn't Happen
Camp Carnelly - We're cheap and we stayed here again...hippo in the camp
Crater Lake - This Volcano we did get to hike on...video of flamingos flying
Amani House/Mennonite Guest House - Our most comfortable Stay
Elephant Orphanage - One of my favorite parts of the trip...elephant baby videos
Nairobi Game Park - 25 yards from a lion
10 hour Heathrow layover = London Walking tour...short changing of the guard video