Meet Our New Friends

Betsy StewartBlog

Turkana women dancing during the community celebration dinner held during Alabaster Mobile Clinic's visit.

If you’ve been a friend of Alabaster for a while, you know some of our Massai friends in Endonyolasho, where we helped build a clinic.

If you’re new here, welcome. You can read about some of our long-time friends here.

This year – which marked Alabaster’s seventh year traveling to Kenya – we made some new friends. As part of an effort to identify additional communities to partner with, this year’s team spent five days in a small village called Lolupe in Turkana County.

There we met teachers, students, a women’s group and community members from the Turkana tribe.

We didn’t go alone. Peris, a community builder who works for our Kenyan partner Girl Child Network, was our guide and host. She’s been doing work in this area for nearly two years and was able to introduce us to leaders and answer the inevitable questions we had as we learned about this group of people.

The first community members to attend clinic in Lolupe.

The Turkanas were learning about us, too. The first few patients at our outreach clinics were older men, who are considered gatekeepers for this traditional patriarchal tribe. After feeling both well-served by the care they received and intrigued by our devices (battery-powered digital forehead thermometers), these men returned to their families and homesteads to encourage others to come.

Soon, mothers with children on their backs and walking at their sides, along with younger men carrying the sticks and stools distinctive of the Turkana men arrived and lined up outside the school room where clinic was being run.

Over two days of clinics, as well as a celebration dinner, a meeting with the women’s group and many meals of rice, cabbage and goat lovingly served to us by the community, we learned about each other.

As might be expected, our list of questions only grew longer as the days went on. Thankfully, with Peris as our host and the graciousness of the Turkana people, we were welcomed to keep asking.

We have more to share with you. Keep checking back here, and join us on Facebook and Instagram, where we intend to keep telling stories and sharing what we’ve learned, as well as how you can join us.