father_karl_216Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

My first appointment as a priest was to Kenya. I was then appointed to a place called Kobujoi in Nandi District. Kobujoi was near the equator at 7000 feet above sea level with a very wet, wet season. It was over 30 miles from the nearest tarmac road. Its’ dirt roads were more like plowed fields. Getting in and out was difficult. There were places that had no roads as we were on the edge of an escarpment. There was a school a small mission maternity unit no doc- tor, a social service community school.

Very often we got called out at night to take people to hospital. There were two choices thirty miles one way to the county hospital, thirty miles the other way to a Quaker hospital. Most times people preferred the Quaker Hospital as they had better doctors and care.

On one occasion I got called by the mission hospital to take a women to the hospital It was a breech birth and they could not turn the baby so she needed to get to where there were doctors. When you took someone to the hospital you had to have one of the paramedics, someone from the family and a person who was willing to give blood. The small VW beetle would have a full complement, 5 people and at times more would want to get in.

She chose the Quaker hospital. The first part of the “road” was okay. The next part was black cotton soil. Everyone had to get out and pull drag and push the car. The rest of the road Rocky and on the edge of the escarpment The women yelled its’ coming the car stopped and all got out and the baby popped. The paramedic asked her to continue to the hospital, she shouted a very clear No and we turned back.

We had only traveled a few miles in over an hour and now had to go back. We dropped her at the Mission hospital where she had hot milky sugary tea and bread and then she gathered her things strapped baby boy on her back and headed home walking. People and life were tough. None of this was part of the training in the seminary but was part of the learning curve on the mission.

The journey continues and we share the good news,

Fr Karl