Bachelor Navy Dr. Andy's Field Report: This Ending is Just a Beginning in Africa

We are but one world,

By , Contributor

Dr. Andy Baldwin, Kenya

As my US Navy rotation in Africa comes to a close, I've been reflecting on what I've seen, felt, and learned. In my last two posts, I was angry - overwhelmed with emotion and fired up. Perhaps it was because I knew my time here was running short and there is so much more to be done.

I have received words of encouragement from many including my good friend, Lisa Ling (Correspondent for the Oprah Show and Host of OWN's Our America).

Screen shot 2011-10-29 at 8.56.28 AM.png"Andy, your work in Kenya at the Chebaiywa Clinic is inspiring. Through my travels with National Geographic Explorer and Our America, I witness the critical need worldwide for quality medical care and focus on raising healthy kids. Your decision to fight for healthy kids both in America with you work for ING's Run for Something Better program and in Africa delivering these beautiful babies and caring for these children, is phenomenal. Keep running and working for these causes! I am proud of you."

Thank you Lisa, and thank you everyone who has supported the amazing organizations I have worked with on this journey.

This week my friends from Team World Vision arrived led by the incomparable Michael Chitwood (National Director of Team World Vision). He brought along nine other intrepid souls to meet their sponsor children and run a marathon in the high altitude of Nairobi. We have spent the week doing a bit of adventuring and preparing for tomorrow's marathon. A week later I'll be running in the ING New York City Marathon in support for ING's Run for Something Better program. Two continents, two marathons - a world of meaning.

Andy&Michael.jpgSo now, as I prep for tomorrow's 26.2, I take a moment to share my last post from the Chebaiywa Health Clinic.

IMG_3594.jpgThe three weeks I spent in the Rift Valley working at Chebaiywa Health Center seemed like a year in terms of how much I learned, experienced and felt a part of the community, but the blink of an eye in terms how fast it flew by. In my departure ceremony I told the Health Center
staff that this is not goodbye, but only just hello. The Health Center is a godsend for this community and has so much potential to grow and help hundreds to thousands of others.

IMG_2748.jpg There is much work to do.  God Bless William and Michelle Kiprop for hosting me, and friend Edward for taking such good care of me at the ELI Kipkaren Training Center.  The hundreds of children in the nearby Chebaiywa Primary School, many of whom ran along with me barefoot each morning, are in need of our support. They suffer from foot diseases simply because they do not have shoes.kidsnoshoes.jpgMany are not able to go to school because they cannot afford to buy the school uniform.  Even if they come to school with clothes on, they are sent away.  Michelle Kiprop has established a fund with Empowering Lives International to take donations that will directly go to getting shoes on these kids feet and uniforms on their backs so they can go to school.
 
(http://www.empoweringlives.org/donate Select Ministry Programs, then the dropdown for Kenya Children.  And in the comments section it should say "Chebaiywa Kids". A complete uniform (including shoes and socks) is approximately $40. Half of that for a uniform or shoes/socks)

IMG_3595.jpgI know that my work has only just begun, and encourage everyone to take a moment this weekend and think about what you can give and to whom you can give. We are but one world of people and together as a community of souls we must care for each other.

Want to help?

Sponsor a child in Africa! Team Worldvision is saving lives and needs your help.

Join the fight against Childhood Obesity in America with ING's Run For Something Better. Sponsor my ING New York City Marathon campaign!

Help the Chebaiywa Clinic in Africa grow their Women's Health Program and purchase an ambulance. Specify Ambulance or Women's Health when you donate.

Support the Chebaiywa Clinic's operations through Forward Advantage

Give Uniforms, Shoes & Socks to kids in Kenya so they can go to school through Empowering Lives International Select Ministry Programs, then the dropdown for Kenya Children.  And in the comments section it should say "Chebaiywa Kids".



Kenyan Villagers.jpg

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U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Andrew Baldwin, M.D. is a physician, humanitarian, U.S. Navy diver and media personality currently serving as a family medicine resident at the Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton in Southern California. Prior to his current position, Dr. Baldwin served at the Navy's Bureau of…

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