Excerpted from Time to Ride: PET
“The micro-team also brought something called a “PET”. Actually, they brought twelve. A PET stands for Personal Energy Transportation. The PET Mobility Project is a faith based and volunteer powered organization that helps bring the type of empowerment that is brought by being mobile in one’s community. The PET is almost like a bike. But as it is for people who cannot walk and cannot use wheelchairs in their rural environment, the users can peddle with their arms.
“I was especially excited because I knew about the PET from when I worked with the Alaska United Methodist Missionary Conference. Church members would donate money for the PETS. For a long time I had no idea what it stood for and just thought that those in Alaska were extremely dedicated to their pets. But I eventually found out what they were and have been fascinated with them ever since.
“The micro-team brought twelve wooden PETs. They put together three that I saw and provided instructions on how to put the others together. They assigned Maua Methodist Hospital with the task of assigning the PETs to those who need them.
“On Monday, right as they put one together, a woman named Zipporah Kathambi walked by with her walker. What timing! One of the micro-team and Stanley Gitari the Coordinator of Community Health for the hospital, engaged Zipporah. Zipporah likes to go by “Zippy”. She was diagnosed with Polio when she was four years old and since that time, has had great difficulty walking.
“Zippy works at the St. Joseph’s Methodist Church next to the hospital. She works at the Disability Centre as a secretary. She lives on the hospital grounds in an apartment.
“She told us that even though it is a short walk, she has difficulty walking the distance from her apartment to work each day. So, she takes about an hour going to work and an hour coming home. She usually does not each lunch as she cannot take the time to walk home during her lunch hour.
“From the moment the team and Stanley put her in the chair, you could see a new world opening up for her. She peddled back and forth with her arms. Zippy excitedly told me that she could now go home for lunch.
“The PET also has a place for groceries or other things one may need to carry while moving around. Some people make adjustments to their chair and attach umbrellas or trailers. The PET will open new doors for many.
“After some adjustment so she can easily reach the arm peddles, Zippy has her new PET. It will be able to transport her in the mud or whatever environment she may be in at any given time.
“It was a wonderful experience to see the West Texas micro-team bring the PETs with great expectations and then give their first away to someone who needed it. Another day in the life of Maua Methodist Hospital!”