We thought that traveling would be really neat,
We didn’t know that we would be cleaning feet.
A mission trip was outside our project scope;
But, understand the people – that is the hope.
I gathered my thoughts on the bus ride home,
Here is the result: I wrote a poem
The trip began by boarding a bus,
There was barely enough room for all of us.
The twelve hour journey was crowded and rough,
The road was not paved, by the end we’d had enough.
Twelve hours of bumps and a whole lot of dirt,
Limited water and food made my head hurt.
But this trip it is not about all of my woes,
We must get the bugs out of kids’ toes.
Pastor Hirbo greeted us with his famous smile.
One look at his face and the trip was worthwhile.
Jiggers bite the feet and burrow into the skin,
Over one million are effected, where do we begin?
We knew we would be with medical staff in Marsabit
But, we didn’t know that we would be a part of it.
Apprehension was high and nerves were shot,
MBA students yes, but medical students we were not.
We broke into groups and were shown our tools,
Some drove and some walked to the nearby schools.
Wash, soak, rinse, then dry-
The vaseline makes the jiggers go bye.
My shoes are red and covered in dirt;
But, that’s nothing compared to how my heart hurts.
We arrived to help make Kenya jigger free
I didn’t know how much it would affect me.
The kids were strong and tried to smile,
But, the treatment was painful and took a while.
The sight of one boy made my heart break in two,
The jiggers got to his feet and he didn’t know what to do.
The shame on his face and pain in his eye,
A lump came to my throat and I started to cry.
I got comfort from my team; we worked as one.
We were committed to help until the treatment was done.
The last step in the process is putting shoes on their feet,
The one-for-one model from Skechers, which was pretty neat.
At the sight of the shoes, the kids formed a line,
All of them wondering – will one of those pairs be mine?
More kids than shoes, a sad realization-
How can we truly help this great nation?
Over 300 were treated with kindness and care,
And jigger prevention they are now well aware.
We debriefed from our days and said our goodbyes,
The impact of this experience was truly a surprise.
We started the journey a bit distressed.
As we leave, we are feeling overwhelmingly blessed.
Farewell to Marsabit and it’s desert air,
This brief look into our trip; I’m glad I could share.