So with the exception of the weekend in Nairobi, the past two weeks have been very poorly documented. Probably because so much has happened that the thought of writing about all of it is a little bit daunting. I don’t want to post a huge novel of a post so I’m going to try to sum all the highlights up in nice short paragraphs.
1) We went to Kiirua Boys Secondary School to talk to the boys about the benefits of not polishing the maize in the githeri, and about soaking the beans and maize overnight before cooking the githeri. These were our recommendations for this school but the headmaster literally laughed out loud at us claiming that the boys would never ever agree to eat the githeri that way and would probably not even try it. The next day, we went back to the school to eat the new and improved lunch with the boys. We sat outside ate githeri and chatted about a million different things just like we would have at home. It was nice to be able to hang out with guys our age who spoke English well and were able to have real conversations. They ended up loving the githeri made with Mbembe maize and even asked the headmaster if they could have their githeri made this way forever. We were beyond stoked! So stoked that I made my facebook Status “Mbembe Maize 1 : Muthikore Maize 0 : Kiirua Boys was a success!” next thing I know a whole bunch of the guys add me to facebook, see my status and laugh hysterically at me and a couple of them even commented on it. A little embarrassing.
2) We gave another parent Family Nutrition Session to Kinyenjere Primary School. It went really well and we had another big turnout of about 100 people. This group also included men, about 25 men and 75 women. We were getting ready to leave, saying our goodbyes to the group, when I take a step backwards to start to leave. Little do I know, there is a stool right behind me that I trip over and fall, literally, flat on my back in front of 100+ people. So I lay there, in the grass, on my back in front of 100 people and I couldn’t help but burst out laughing because what else was I supposed to do? Shortly after, the 100+ Kenyans erupted into laughter as if they had never in their lives witnessed anything quite so funny in their lives. At least the presentation was memorable...
3) Sleeping in a mosquito net is really annoying. You have to tuck it all up under the mattress, and then attempt to crawl into bed without un-tucking the whole thing. Not to mention it makes getting up in the middle of the night to pee extremely difficult. Stumbling out of bed in the middle of the night half asleep is bad enough, but having to also navigate your way around a hundred yards of mesh makes it that much harder. Sick of hte stupid net, I decided to rebel and not use it a couple nights ago. I have only ever seen one mosquito since I got here so I figured it was a pretty safe move. Well I was wrong. Thank goodness for Malaria meds because I woke up the next morning COVERED in bites and am still incredibly itchy. Specially my elbows. If you've ever tried to scratch your elbows, you would understand how unfortunate this is.
4) Cooking and baking in Kenya is a new adventure in itself. None of the equipment is the same, and all of the ingredients are slightly different then at home. We don't even have measuring cups. We have a scale so we've been converting measurements to weights and it's been working out really well. So far we've made Chocolate Chip Banana Bread and Carrot Cake (seen on left). And last night, Silas, our chef, taught us how to make one of my favorite Kenya foods; Chapati. We added pumpkin to the dough to add some much needed nutrients and they were delicious! We're hoping to be able to teach the women in the womens groups how to add pumpkin, carrot and other vegetables to the dough to make them more nutritious.
5) We spent the day today working on our infant weaning slash transitional feeding presentation. I won't lie. I didn't actually know anything about transitional feeding when I woke up this morning. We spent a good chunk of the day finding papers to read and learning all about introducing solid foods to your child and what to introduce when etc. Now that I've been reading all day, I am soo beyond stoked for making up the resource for the parents and putting the presentation together. It's a little bit ridiculous how excited I am. My new found knowledge of transitional feeding makes me feel a little bit better about my lack of maternal instincts at the orphanage.
6) Barefoot Running Update: I am now running 8 km barefoot on the treadmill. The distance isn't so much inhibited by running barefoot, but it's just so freaking boring that I want to barf after 10 minutes. But I'm slowly training myself not to hate the treadmill, either that or I'm getting better at forcing myself to do things I hate.
7) We donated some cups to Ruuju Primary School on Tuesday. We noticed that last time we were there, there were not enough cups for all of the nursery school students to eat their uji at the same time, so some kids had to wait until the others were done before they could eat. We bought another 24 cups and gave them to the school on behalf of our prof who was here so that all the kids can now eat at the same time. The kids were sooo cute when we were handing them out!
Quote of the day (courtesy of Mama Parkes): Don't limit your challenges, challenge your limits.