Let me be the last person to welcome you. I hope you will stay long enough to learn a thing or two by heart. When you boarded that plane from Havana a few things changed. Well that’s an understatement, actually everything changed. I don’t mean to send you straight to JKIA to catch the next plane back to your beautiful country. All I want is to tell you what no one will dare tell you nevertheless you need to know because we need you.
I hear that you will just pass through Nairobi en-route to our remote villages. This is good news! I have been in this city long enough to know that you may not love to be here. When it rains you need to make a prayer that your car doesn’t float away in the flooded streets. I don’t think you will fancy waking up to a dry tap how we do here. This city has more garbage piles than hospitals, maybe I don’t need to mention this because you already saw it during the three hours you were stuck in the traffic jam. Oh by the way we stay longer in the traffic jams, we who don’t have a say. That is why I insist you need to thank your lucky stars that you will be deployed to the remote areas where things are a little nicer.
However, for those of you who will remain in the capital, get yourself a swimming gear a good friend who will not sell you a dead handset at a kidney price and who will show you the paths to take when we engage the police in running games as we do once in a while.
You also need to equip yourself with the political map of this country just in case you stay here long enough to witness an electioneering period. You need to know the area you are posted in and the residents just to make sure you are on the correct side of the handshake. Make sure you treat political issues with the same care you handle your patients because here it is a matter of life and death. Above all, train your tongues to chant slogans like ‘tibiim’ and ‘kumira kumira’ because you may need them when things go south. Don’t bother finding out what they mean.
Am not sure if you remember the last time a hospital had a power blackout back in Havana. Unfortunately here we count the days we had power in some of the hospitals you will be deployed to. There is nothing to worry about if your place of work went for a few days without power. Am also very sorry you will find our roads in such a horrible state. I promise they will be better when the rains are over. I can’t forget to tell you that you may not have enough medicines for your patients but once again go slow because luckily Kenyan patients are used to this.
One more thing, if you hear in the news that the doctors are striking for unpaid salaries please join them in the streets because you are not safe. They have done this from time to time and it works somehow.For the male doctors be very careful when interacting with Kenyan ladies who have a liking for Caucasians with their belief that white men are their only passport out of poverty. They will pose as patients built a rapport by the time you come to your senses they are pregnant with your child whom they use as insurance to get child support. They have done it with the Chinese road and railway contractors,holiday seeking sand basking Europeans at the coast and the Artur brothers so stay woke you are no different.
Finally we know there are only a hundred of you and it won’t be fair to expect a complete change in our medical sector. However we trust you to do whatever it is you can do to salvage us from the mess our medical sector has become.Don’t forget to open private clinics in this country you can’t survive on salary alone that’s why our politicians double up as tenderpreneurs and policemen double up as tax collectors.