Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sweet Waters

The last few days have been fun! We met with the nutritionist from the Meru hospital and she is awesome. It was like running into someone in a foreign country who speaks the same language as you. It's refreshing to know that the training a dietitian gets at home in Canada is so similar to that in Kenya. The similarities in her training and mine is really exciting because one of the things I love most about nutrition and food is that is it so universal. There are very few things that every culture and every civilization that ever existed has in common.

An interesting thing I learned from the dietitian, is that in Kenya, the fathers are served first, the mothers second and the children last. The kids basically just get the left overs, specially when meat is served. In contrast, many many studies in Canada have proven that Canadian mothers protect their young from food insecurity by sacrificing their own nutrition and health. In Kenya, the mothers are often slightly overweight while the children are malnourished. I was not expecting to see this. My cultural bias led me to believe that a mothers desire to protect her young from any harm or discomfort, such as hunger, would be universal. It made me realize that I really need to make sure that I am not being biased when I meet with these women and see these farms and school food programs.

We are currently at Sweet Water resort on safari. There is a giant watering hole about 50m outside my tent where there are, as I write this, about 15 zebras and 4 giraffes, 3 warthogs, 10 water bucks and about a million birds all just chilling and rehydrating. It's unreal to unzip your tent and see a giraffe 50 m away. I sure can get used to it though! We met a fellow Canadian at supper last night nad her husband works for the High Commission and they have been living here for 5 years. She invited us up to Nairobi for a weekend so I think we are going to try for sure to make the trek back up to Nairobi to visit her. Never hurts to have contacts in the high commission!

One thing I have learned, it to never leave home without toilet paper and a fanny pack. The outhouses are simply holes in a concrete slab, and fanny packs are conveniently hands free. I brought my neon fanny pack with me and am beginning to think that it's quite possibly the best purchase I have ever made at Value Village. We're hoping to see some Lions hunting tonight on a night time safari drive, so our fingers are crossed! As for now I am going to finish writing post cards and read by the pool!

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