Tuesday, March 11, 2014 – Mobile Clinic to Upper Kitete

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We had our second day of mobile clinic today at a different village much further along the escarpment – Upper Kitete. It’s about an hour and a half or more to get there and is another gorgeous drive through wonderful hills and farmland. It is almost as far as one can drive along the escarpment as the Ngorongoro Conservation Area comes down to the rim and all roads end at that point. We got to the village and were told that there were a number of patients there earlier, but that they had gone home (perhaps to work the fields) and would come back later. We saw one gentleman with joint problems from osteoarthrosis (arthritis for all non-medical people reading this) which is not a neurological problem but we thought since we didn’t have any other patients we may as well take care of him. I was able to see a very nice Parkinson’s patient I’ve seen several times before who does better on his meds but they keep stopping them when they run out and it’s back to square one. I explain to the family every time that he needs to stay on the meds, but it just doesn’t seem to get through. They don’t have carbidopa/levadopa here, but I brought a bunch last year and have plenty to last for them.

Unfortunately, none of the patients came back to see us so we ended up just relaxing the rest of day, having a nice lunch in a beautiful location and visiting with some of the villagers. I spent a few minutes with cute young girls showing them photos and videos of animals on my iPad. They spoke Iraqw so it was strange to hear the names of the animals in that language as opposed to Swahili.
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Later, we played frisbee or throwing the disc as Will, our volunteer coordinator who was along the for trip, tells it is referred to now and no one says frisbee any longer. The kids picked it up real fast which was a bit more than I can say for myself. We played for thirty minutes or so just tossing it with the kids until I decided to do a fancy catch, jumped into the air to tap the disc and felt something pull immediately in my left calf. I made the catch and landed on my right leg hopping as I couldn’t put any weight on the left. Now I can’t push off at all on my left leg as it seems I may have a small tear in my calf according to Dr. Chris who has it wrapped in a compression bandage and it will be elevated tonight when sleeping. I’ll live, but it’s a bit painful to walk right now.
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After my embarrassing frisbee injury we drove out to the Overlook again which is one of my favorite places to visit. We sit up on top of the escarpment and it’s about 2500 feet straight down to the Rift Valley below. You can see for such a long distance both up and down the valley. Here’s a shot of Megan, Patricia and William overlooking the valley.
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The ride home was uneventful though I did get this shot of a normally loaded truck speeding past us.
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We have a big rainstorm with lots of thunder and lightening going on right now which always worries me about the roads tomorrow as we’re planning to head out to Upper Kitete again. We’ll have to assess the road situation in the morning and see what the plans are.

Mike

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