Another week in paradise….

12 06 2010

Amosi!!  We had another great week here in Kunya village.  It is crazy to think that we have been here for a month- time is really starting to fly by!   Jori and Alice finished their home visits last week, so the bulk of their research is complete.  They spent this week crunching numbers and analyzing/entering data.  They also made a few visits to the local schools in order to take the last few physicals and get the remaining subjects (who failed to come to the center) to provide urine/stool samples.  They are quite excited to have made such good progress.  Although their data has not been analyzed in its entirety, they are beginning to see some trends among results, which is exciting.

Jori, Alice, and I also held a conference with the boys and girls at the primary school (a weekly event every Wednesday).  I worked with a couple other volunteers in the “boys talk,” and Jori and Alice worked with the girls.  They asked a lot of great questions about reproductive health, and I really enjoyed interacting with them.  I thought the students would be more reserved, but they had many questions and were very attentive.

I spent the majority of this week teaching about HIV/AIDS in the local schools.  I am teaching a “Youth Mentor Program” with two other volunteers that joined us at Mama na Dada.  The program is designed so that students will learn the material, become certified, and then go out into the community and spread the word.  So, the program educates the youth and empowers them to teach and educate their friends, families, and community.  We are teaching in the secondary school (equivalent to America’s ‘high school’) and in the Mama na Dada tailoring school, which is a vocational program focused on educating youth who are no longer enrolled in secondary school.  The teaching is going so well.  HIV is a topic that I am passionate about, so it is fun to teach and really interact with Kenya’s youth.  Some of the material is hard to teach due to cultural differences, but the students seem to be engaged and interested in what we are saying.  Also, we have an interpreter with us to help bridge any gaps due to the language barrier.

I also spent some of this week working in the dispensary.  My job is to take patient weights, package medications, and take inventory in the storage cabinets…it’s not thrilling work, but it is satisfying.

I can’t believe I leave Kenya in two weeks.  I am going to take full advantage of the time I have remaining.  However, I will say that I am SO EXCITED to get home to a hot shower, a flushable toilet, and Internet!  Rain is sparse here, so our water source has run out- eek!  Also, because I am holding 5 classes a week around the village, I am getting amazing (sarcastic) tan lines and a huge work out (and without water to shower with I fear that we may start to get a little smelly!).  The world  cup started last night, so we are thrilled about that.  Soccer is so great because it really unifies this nation and the world.  About 20 of us (employees, volunteers, poor, and wealthy) were gathered around a tiny television last night to watch the opening matches.  It is really special to be in Africa for this epic event.

Well, that is all I have for this week.  We are happy and having a great time.  Talk to you next week!!

Oriti (goodbye),

– Maddy McEwen and the gang




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