Merced County Times Newspaper
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Merced-area group helping thousands in Kenya


Robert Quall is a former Merced County Superior Court judge and a Merced resident who helped establish the Maasai Medical Mission nonprofit organization.

The group takes annual trips to impoverished regions of Kenya, in the continent of Africa, to provide health care services, supplies and other support.

Quall and about three dozen volunteers and medical staff left earlier this month for this year’s Mission trip. Right before they left, the Times asked Quall to send updates if possible.

In the subsequent days, Quall has sent sporadic and brief updates about the Mission, along with photos, which we share on this page. The dates and times of the messages are from the California time zone, as they were received.

• Wednesday, Jan 3, 1:49 a.m.

“We departed Paris minus a passenger. The pilot couldn’t find the no-show, so it took an hour to pull the luggage off.  Little nervous ’til we hit 35,000 feet.

“Yesterday, we saw and treated 874 patients including 150-plus proud owners of eye glasses!

“Today we expected at our clinic probably 160. However, after two hours of clinics, we have taken a back seat to a funeral down the hill. Should be able to see another 100 patients before 4!

“Many patients have very bad knee and back pain. Our local doctors claims it is from working in tobacco sheds. Unusual diagnosis.

“Next stop Kitali, Kenya.”

• Saturday, Jan. 6, 12:55 a.m.

“Andy had a mixed day in Kenya. He helped treat 160 sick tribesmen and presented a soccer ball to appreciative soccer players. Then life got real. Andy unfortunately wasn’t wearing his seat belt when his van was randomly stopped by Kenyan police. He was about to be carted off to pay a fine when his driver sprung into action!

“Peter flashed a 1,000 shilling bill (about 7 dollars) and palmed the officers hand. The officer with a big grin placed Andy back in the van. Street Justice is still alive, at least in Kitali!

“Andy feeling much better needed a little help with his bag at our hotel. It was only 100 feet from his van to the cottage but seeing a porter, he asked for assistance. He could have carried his bag, but he thought the porter could use a tip.

“Upon delivery of the bag he gave his new friend 100 shillings. The porter, with a disgusted look said, ‘Not enough!’

Afraid of reinforcements being sent in, Andy pulled out another 100 shillings, and the porter said, ‘That’s a little better!’

You better have your A-game at the 2-Star Kitali Country Club!

• Monday, Jan. 8, 6:31 a.m.

Treated 640 in our clinic today. Total for all six clinics today: 2,750.

• Tuesday, Jan. 9, 12:22 a.m.

Treated 3,000 yesterday, including 500 pairs of eye glasses for improved vision.

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