A Rewarding Experience

6 07 2010

With Maddy gone, it’s just the two of us here in Kunya Village. Our days have been mostly the same – writing up our reports, preparing for our presentation to the community on July 7th, and playing with the day care children in our breaks – but still the time flies by. In our spare time, we have also made walks to the local market, buying avocados, bananas, lime-like oranges, tomatoes, and other snacks.

After spending a lot of time at the day care, it’s been rewarding to see the children grow physically and emotionally. One of the girls who is HIV positive and relatively new to the day care center has been getting stronger physically, to the point that she is now wrestling with the other kids and climbing all over the place. Another child, who was new to the center when we came to Mama na Dada, has opened up tremendously since he got here. He used to be in his own little world, staring off into space, not speaking, and barely mumbling when others spoke to him. Now, he has become a very active boy and was even recently made the ‘Head Boy’ at the day care. We’ve been here at Mama na Dada with the children so long that we know their quirks and personalities very well.

In other news, in carrying out the water treatment plan, I have a new appreciation for the villagers who have to deal with the water problem. The lake water, which most people use, has all of these green and dirt particles in the water. After filtering, sieving or straining the water and then boiling, the water still isn’t clear. The rain water is so much cleaner – but of course it doesn’t rain all the time. The dam water is also very dirty; I can’t imagine drinking the lake or the dam water. I find it even frustrating now, when we don’t have any water in the tank so we go collect the rain water stored near the house to flush our toilet, take a bath, wash our hands, etc.

After our presentation on July 7th to the community and the chief officer and the assistant chief, we will be packing up and tying up loose ends here at Mama na Dada. This will be the last blog entry in Kenya – the next time you’ll hear from us will be when we’re safe and sound back in the U.S.

-Alice Zhang

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