So we are going on about three weeks here, and I can’t really say I feel all that productive. I’ve expanded what I doing at KMET because there wasn’t much going on with the nutra-flour nutrition department other than milling it. The staff’s primary job is to sell the flour, but one of the issues they face is the stigma attached to NGOs. Many people think that, since KMET is an NGO, they should be giving out the flour for free. But that’s not sustainable. There’s a similar stigma attached to mzungus. We should be giving things away for free since, in comparison, we come from a land of plenty. With both of those things going for me, I am not very useful when it comes to selling flour.Instead, I have started to go out with the outreach team. At the beginning of the week we screened for malnourished kids in the community. Today we distributed Vitamin A supplements and deworming medication. I greatly prefer this kind of work as it gets us out into the community more. An internship should be about experience, even if the trips out take less time than milling flour. A general frustration remains with the “pole pole” attitude about everything. I definitely feel there is too little to do, or just no drive to do it. I expected an attitude similar to this, but I forgot how frustrating it is. There is a Swahili saying that goes “haraka haraka haina Baraka”, basically meaning “hurrying has no blessings”. Which of course is not true. If you’re in labor, hurrying to the hospital would certainly have blessings. If you’re late for a job interview, hurrying there significantly increases your chances of getting the job rather than not showing up. Even a Kenyan will agree that a job and health care is a blessing, yet we still move at a snail’s pace. However, KMET does appreciate initiative. The staff is willing to listen to our ideas and suggestions. Home life is still awesome. My host-mom, Joy, is so cool. All her neighbors come to her for advice. It’s also pretty awesome that my house primarily speaks Swahili. My understanding has immensely improved, though my speaking is struggling. Anyway, at least I know when people are talking about me. We have met some other Wazungus in the area, including Taylor, a Gettysburg student who was finishing her study abroad program, and Cody, her friend. Sadly, Taylor left, but Cody is still around. We are in the process of making travel plans and it’s nice to have an extra person to join.
Emily I’m attempting to attach pictures this time. Sorry if it doesn’t work. Here goes…
The first is of Joy making chapatti. She used to make them on the side of the road as a profession during a more difficult time in her life.
The next few are of the flour making process- sorting soy beans, roasting them, and the final product
The one with Shane is at a soccer game for a local orphanage that Cody works with. The kids were fascinated with Shane’s arm hair.
The last is of Caroline, the outreach worker, deworming a child. All it is is a pill.