Kendall Smith recently spent several weeks volunteering in one of the medical clinics on the Conservancy.
As I look back, I am continually blown away by the rich culture and amazing people that I encountered On Soysambu. While working in the clinic, I experienced first-hand the health care standards of rural Kenya. Although a major medical facility is located nearby in the town of Nakuru, most Kenyans who live on the ranch visit the clinic for general concerns. With only one nurse in the clinic, we stayed busy giving vaccinations, prenatal check-ups, administering medication and performing minor surgery.
Although we did not have advanced medical equipment, we were able to treat most ailments or, if necessary, refer patients to the larger hospital. Because the clinic and medications are supported by donations, patients typically paid a small fee for service. Residents were so thankful to have access to medical treatment at Soysambu, even if they had to walk quite a distance or wait for care. On several occasions, the nurse and I walked to local village communities to administer vitamins and de-worming medications.
From this experience I learned how thankful people were to know that others cared about their health. I am so grateful for all the amazing people I met at Soysambu and am continually impressed by their commitment to their neighbors, the
animals and the land.
Kendall Smith, 2010 degree candidate, Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, Oregon State University, USA