Last week, I was sent on a very brief trip to Nairobi, Kenya, to meet with a variety of health professionals to discuss reviewing, revising, and updating the HIV-specific curriculum for educating health care providers at all levels of health-care facilities throughout Kenya.
As it happened, just a couple of weeks before, I had been contacted by my old friend, Wanjiku Ngugi, who told me that she is suffering from progressive blindness, and needs a surgical procedure to try and save her vision. The procedure was going to cost a small fortune, by Kenya standards, and, of course, as in most of east Africa, the patient must have the cash up front in order to get a surgical procedure performed.
I put out a call to our congregants at Tikvat Israel, and got an overwhelming response!! I was able to bring her enough to cover the procedure, plus a little extra to help out with other expenses!! I love belonging to a group of people who are willing to step forward to help someone in need.
In addition, Rabbi Gorin offered to donate some books, and I emailed Wanjiku to make the offer – she had a couple of specific books she hoped he might have on hand, which he did, along with a generous offering of other books – my only limit was the weight I was allowed on the flight (and I was taking over a bag of linens for a friends who is living in Kenya now). As it happened, the my total baggage came to exactly the 50lb allowance!!