Bomet Things to Do
Take a Tour of Tenwek Hospital
Most people would not come all the way to Africa to tour a hospital. After all, that is where sick people go, right?
Tenwek is a bit different than the average hospital though, and due to its fame enough visitors come through here that tours of the hospital are offered (see the web site for details).
Tenwek is operated by the World Gospel Mission, and for many years now it has served the needs of the surrounding communities, farms, and other residents. People have been known to walk 20 miles or more to come here for treatment. Originally, there was no such hospital and few resources (no electricity, primitive roads, etc.) in the region, and so when it started this hospital was very much a pioneering effort. Thus, Tenwek has been written about in a number of articles and a few books on the subject of operating a hospital with little physical resources.
Today, the hospital has considerably more resources than it did when it started. There is a large scale training program for helping increase the number of doctors, nurses and other trained medical staff in Kenya. At some point it is hoped that the entire operation may one day be operated by Kenyan nationals rather than missionaries from other parts of the world. Progress is certainly being made in that direction.
As it is a reasonably well known hospital, Tenwek does offer tours of some of its facilities. The tours program and the various other parts of its operations are covered in more detail on the hospital web site, below, and it is better that you contact the hospital directly if you would like to see one of the better known Protestant missionary hospitals in Kenya.
The hospital is approximately 7 miles or so northwest of Bomet, and so I suggest that you get local instructions. On the west end of Bomet, on the paved road between Nairobi and Kisumu, there is a fairly significant intersection. Turn north, and follow this road to the sign pointing to the entrance to Tenwek hospital.
Be very careful about your physical condition. The hospital is located at slightly under 2400 meters (about 8000 feet) elevation, and if you are not used to this altitude you will get tired quickly just climbing the stairs. Be very careful if you start to feel dizzy, and make sure to rest once in a while. It is OK to let people know you are experiencing altitude adjustment problems. Many, many people from lower elevations have had this happen to them, and it is understood by many missionaries working here, as many of them originally went through such situations.
Africans in general are very suspicous of having their photo taken, and when they are sick in bed and can't object it is really rude to do so. How would you like a group of tourists coming through and photographing you when you are confined to a hospital bed? Therefore, please be respectful when taking photos.
The first photograph in this tip is mine, and the other four have been contributed by Cindy L., who was a member of our group.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Religious Travel
- Study Abroad