Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Imani Workshop

Peter, Kai, and Chris, painting with some of the Imani women, as part of a facelift for the Imani Workshop, an organization dedicated to employing HIV positive women who would otherwise be jobless & ostrasized from the community.

Converting a large industrial space from a drab, craft- stained, eggshell palette to a creative, tapestry- like motif.

Heading directly to the Workshop for painting after work Friday means that my right black work shoe is permanently stained with red acrylic paint.  I tested the theory that it could wash off today when the soaking rains got me walking back from the hospital, after finishing the ultrasounds of the afternoon.  It turns out the Totes- sized pink umbrella I bought downtown is no match for the winter rains here, and I was able to protect only my laptop, cradling it like a pregnant belly in front of me.  My back was soaked by the time I got to IU house, and my legs were spattered with mud to the level of my knees.  I didn't notice, until Dr. Jackson, our new arrival and the Chair of Radiology at IU, pointed out that the effect of the mud made it look like I hadn't shaved my legs in quite some time.  We all had a good laugh about it before I cleaned up for dinner. 

Even Michael, the most welcoming man on the planet, and the gatekeeper of the neighborhood in which the IU compound is located, did not come out of his sheltered guardpost to greet me, as he usually does.  Did I mention how wonderful the Kenyan people are?  They are all extemely friendly, and I have learned several ways to greet everyone I see, as is customary.  Michael takes this to another level, often holding my hand for what feels like a long time, shaking vigorously, saying, "Welcome, my American daughter!"  Today, he shouted from his guardpost, that the rain was welcoming me.  It's a beautiful thought. I would enjoy it even more if my shoes dried in a timely fashion!

The chest lecture this morning was fantastic, with lots of interaction.  We ran over the alotted hour by atleast 20 minutes, and the registrars didn't stop me, a good sign!  I'll give another talk tomorrow, a good reason to get to bed.  Lala salama!

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