on resourcefulness

Remember my post about MTI last year where I talked about yuck ducks? Well, I had a yuck duck moment a couple of weeks ago that was more funny than hard.IMG_1321

I have come to Kijabe at a really exciting time for the ENT clinic. We have a brand new building. By the end of the year, we will have 2 ENTs, a speech pathologist and myself seeing patients in this beautiful new space. One of our greatest hopes is to house Kenya’s only fully-staffed cleft palate clinic. I have a front row seat as we dream and plan for all of these things. I am having a lot of fun.

Where the new building is concerned, there is one thing I both love and hate: the floors are super shiny. When they are clean, it looks really nice. The challenge is that Kijabe is a place with limited pavement and a wealth of dirt. It comes inside through open windows, cracks under doors and on the soles of all of our shoes and makes my shiny white tile look very dirty. I may be a little obsessed with keeping it clean. I am sure that one day this will be beaten out of me, but for now, I do what I can to feed my monster that loves for things to be spotless.

The first time housekeeping came to clean, I was on my way to do a test on an inpatient in the hospital, so I smiled at the gentleman who walked in with just a mop (in hindsight, the lack of a bucket should have been a clue that something truly special was about to happen) and felt relieved that we would finally stop making footprints in the dust as we moved around the building.

I noticed the mopped tile when I returned, but I thought nothing of it until I went into the bathroom. That was when I remembered a few things…#1 – the sink in the bathroom did not work yet, #2 – the drain in the break room sink had not been installed, so the water there could not be used either, and #3 – I had the only keys to the other rooms that had sinks.

I called housekeeping to mop with just one (admittedly handy) source of water to use…

Looking at the toilet, it seemed that someone had put something into it (say, a mop) and then pulled it back out soaking wet, leaving slightly dirty water (say, the kind that may be a result of mopping a dirty floor) all over the place…you see where I am going with this, yes?

There are days when life here starts to feel normal. Then there are days when someone mops my clinic with toilet water.

2 thoughts on “on resourcefulness

  1. You are so cute:

    This reminds me a good deal of an argument that my father and I had on the idea of drinking water from the sink in the bathroom vs the water from the kitchen sink. Dad did his best to convince me that the water from the bathroom was just as pure as the water from the kitchen. I was having none of it even though I felt that it was perfectly fine to use the bathroom to brush my teeth, it wasn’t okay to drink the water.

    Mopping with the water from the toilet is the same principal…I would recommend drinking water from the sink and not the toilet, but water is water until something else is added.

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