K-MET Weekly Update

Kenyaa_014

11/11

So we are wrapping up another rollercoaster of a week here in Kisumu. This whole week the city of Kisumu has been replacing a transformer to try and update their power grid but that meant that power was cut off to most parts of the city and surrounding areas for much of each day. At work the power would either be out all morning or all afternoon and when there is no power here things seem to shut down since people are always typing up grant proposals on their computer or making phone calls to possible sponsors and beneficiaries.

The beginning of this week I spent in the laboratory at the Corkran building with Adriano. We did a lot of blood smears to look for malaria parasites and did a few urinalyses. Luckily, all of the malaria tests we ran were negative. He told me the most dangerous form of malaria is also the most common one in Kisumu so that’s always fun to hear. Although malaria present it doesn’t seem to be as prevalent as one may think. It seems pretty rare that we actually get a positive result from the malaria test in the lab. To test for malaria we use a light microscope and some field stains to stain a blood smear. It’s really neat to see and do because it is exactly like what we did in cell biology my fall semester this past year. Adriano showed me some positive tests he had saved from previous exams to show me what the malaria parasite looks like and how to identify a positive and negative test. It’s actually really easy to identify positive or negative usually because when it is positive the slide is just covered in little dots (the malaria parasite) and very few blood cells since the way the parasite multiplies if by forming in red blood cells and then bursting out of them.

On Wednesday I went to the clinic in Nyamasaria and it was crazy. I usually take the ultrasound there once a week to do check-ups on expectant mothers but we usually only get 3 or 4 patients. This time I had 12 consecutive patients so I was busy all day but it was a lot of fun. The mothers always like seeing the different parts of the baby on the ultrasound screen so after the diagnostic and routine medical procedures I show them the baby’s head, heartbeat, and anything else they want to see. The staff at that clinic is also picking up quickly on doing ultrasounds so training them is really neat because they always want to help out with the exams and interact with the patients. Yesterday then Emily and I went into Obunga, one of the slums located behind the Corkran building, and handed out Vitamin A and deworming medication to village children. That was really awesome to see because most kids (some cried…one kid threw up) were so excited to get their medication and they would all run up to us and crowd around. We had the usual line of kids following us singing “mzunugu…how are you…I am fine” which is funny to hear when there’s a dozen kids singing it in unison as you walk around the village. It’s always a lot of fun to go out into the field and work with locals. They really seem to take seriously the goal of KMET which is community empowerment and that is a huge stepping stone in allowing them to become more developed and unified.

After work we went to a park in the center of town where they have a big soccer field, and basketball and volleyball courts, and we played ultimate frisbee with some locals and some kids from another college program from the US that are staying here in Kisumu. It was a lot of fun to run around for a while and get some intense exercise in. I should also note that I even made it home in time to watch Eva Luna which is a Spanish soap opera dubbed over in English that I randomly watch at night when the power isn’t out. So here is what’s up with Eva Luna at this point since I missed this entire week. Eva Luna is house help for a wealthy family. The daughter of the home owner was set to marry this wealthy guy named Daniel but no one knows that Daniel secretly loves Eva Luna and Eva loves him back. So Daniel just told the woman he was supposed to marry that he doesn’t want to marry her anymore which probably won’t go over too well.

Plans for this weekend are visiting Kakamega Rainforest outside of Kisumu which we have heard is a really awesome place to hike and take good nature photos so I will try and post some pictures from the trip next week.
That’s all for now!

Shane Omondi

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