Monday, September 26, 2011

Settling In

Well I thought I would update you guys since I have not written a blog post for a while. Well I am getting settled in to my new site here in Kimelewa. I really like the people and I have met a lot of groups, done a lot of house-to-house interviews, and met with a lot of community leaders. Once I have met with all that I need to meet with I am then going to do focus groups to get more of a sense of the community and the interested health topics and also what they would like to get started on after I present my community needs assessment to them. I also have done an outreach where we went to a remote location in our community so that people that are not close to the hospital can get medical treatment and vaccinations. It was pretty interesting and the staff members said that since I was there, there was a better show because a white person was in the neighborhood. Sometimes I feel like a celebrity. It gets old though. Also today I got to do clinical work. I was registering patients for antenatal care and well baby checkups. I also got to weigh the babies and mothers and take blood pressures! It made me miss nursing just a little. They wanted me to do more like giving injections or taking blood but since I am functioning under a public health volunteer I can't do these procedures. They understood after I told them the reason but was confused since I could do it in the US. Well my everyday life has gotten better I got Internet, electricity and my doors and windows fixed. Just need the plumbing, painting and ceilings fixed but it is coming along. I have been playing volleyball with the neighbor girls, well if that is what we want to call We play with a small ball and play over my clothes line. Resourceful right? I also have been spending my weekends away or with Breezie. Breezie is my closet neighboring Peace Corps Volunteer. We have spent the night at each other’s houses and cooked good meals. Then this last weekend we went to the Kakamega Forest where I drank a little too much, ate great food sent from America, hiked in a beautiful forest, swam in the river, and watched the sunset from a cliff. Great weekend :) Some funny stories from the past couple weeks. I had a huge fuzzy caterpillar on my leg and I totally freaked out and the neighbors thought I had gotten hurt. It was a good 3 inches long and super scary looking :( I have been caught in the rain so many times I can't even count. It's just a way of life oh Africa :) I have been catching my rainwater to do my laundry and other stuff. It is hard work because you have to find a spot where the roof is kind broken or the gutter stops and there is more water coming out of this. Then you wait until your bucket fills up and then I have to take back this 20L bucket of water a good 20 yards to my house and then do it all over again. But I have to do it as fast as I can because the rains only last 30-40 mins. It's pretty funny with all the neighbors doing the same thing. But of course they have bigger buckets so they don't make as many trips and they make it look a lot easier than me. I am missing America though, especially because of football season. I cannot get the games on this Internet because it is too slow. It is killing me not to be able to go watch the games. Bryan has been so sweet and updates me during the game. But of course it’s at night since we are so far ahead in time. I also miss all my friends and family. And thank you to the ones that have sent or are sending a care packages. I hope all of you are doing great. And Congrats to my friend Katherine for getting married this past weekend. Well until next time. Love and miss you all so much. Love from Kenya, Joy

Saturday, September 3, 2011

First couple weeks at site

Hello everyone,
Well I am now at my site of Kemelewa which is close to Chwele. It is very small and in the middle of nowhere, I guess I wanted this right??? Well to start I have a pretty good size apartment however there is a bit of housing issues such as some broken windows, locks, etc. However hopefully this will get fixed soon. I hope to paint my place but with a peace corps budget it will be a long process but I have two years. I am across from the Primary health care facility and I am in the staff housing. One thing I am going to have to get use to is the 30min bike ride up hill back to my place. Over the last two weeks I have seen myself improve but I am still out of breath once I arrive at the top. Oh I have got caught in the rain 3 times so far because it rains almost everyday! Good thing I brought rain boots from home they have come in handy. Other than the rain the weather has been pretty good, very nice, sunny and the place is very green with a lot of hills and Mt. Elgon in the background. Its pretty:) Thus far I have met with the village and sub location leaders to explain who and what I am doing here. They seem very excited to have me. Also I have done some house-to-house interviews to see the needs of the community and this has really opened my eyes to the difference in lifestyles here in Kenya. Like the US there are homes in poverty and better off families in the same village, however I think this is more dramatic here in Kenya. Also I have seen the disease that we only talk about in the US such as elphantitis, jiggers, and severe malnutrition. It has been very humbling to say the least however I am excited to try to better the lives in the village and community I will be serving. Over the next three months I am going to be doing a needs assessment and then present this to my community as well as Peace Corps. After that I will start to prioritize the problems and get to work. I am excited and I hope I can at least make a small difference in someone's life.

For those of you that has texted, emailed, or facebooked about packages I have a new address.
Joy Storm
PO 188
Kimilili, Kenya 50204
You can send anything you would like but here are some suggestions: Anything for a new apt since I just moved in like utensils, rugs, candles, posters, picture frames etc. Also any food like granola bars, candy(sour), chips etc. I will be very grateful and love to get packages. Its like Christmas when you are a kid.

Well I hope all of you are well and I miss all of you. Oh I am an aunt again too:) YEAH

Love always,

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Last week of Training

So I know it's been a while since I have updated my blog but the Internet cafe is a bit expensive. So I am now in my last week of training. I passed my language test with intermediate low standing in Kiswahili, which is passing so I am so happy. Language has been a bit of a challenge and I hope I continue to progress in my language skills once I get to site.

We had our family appreciation day where we all thanked the families for hosting us and had a little program. It was very good and sad to say goodbye, but I am so ready to be going off to site and be done with training. Earlier this week I gave my host family gifts from America like potholders, matchbox cars, hats, books, etc, it was so humbling because they were so thankful. The children have not put down the toys and were playing the outside games until I had to say that we needed to stop because I could not see in the dark and was afraid to get hit in the head by the

Now I am in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, where we will finish out training. This week we will meet our site supervisors and have workshops with them to prepare us for departure to our sites. Then on Wednesday we have the swearing in ceremony, which I was chosen to do a speech for...YIKES! I heard it could be televised so a little nervous. I plan to write that speech today I hope it will go ok.

Oh on a side note I am amazed at the creativity of the children in Kenya- 2 examples: some children were putting each other in a car tire and rolling it down the hill! So funny but they were having a blast; the other one- I gave my host nephews ring pops for a present along with other things and after they had eaten the sucker they turned it into a top and have continued to play with the things! Now I think that is creative recycling. I wish that America children could be this way and not get all the damn toys they want and then have "nothing " to play with. Just puts things into perspective.

Well I have received two packages from home with welcoming arms. It was so great to get them. Thanks Ash and Mom. I will let all of you know when I get a new address once I am at site and then you all will be more then welcome to send packages or cards whenever your little hearts desire.

I think that these next three months are going to be a bit stressful because I will be in a new community, speaking Kiswahili and will be alone for the first time. I know I can do it but I think I might need some support so make sure to keep your phones handy and be checking your email. Well I guess I have taken up a lot of space and should be starting to write my speech. I hope all of you are doing great and I love and miss you all so much.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Last couple of weeks

Well I am ending week 6 here in Kenya! It has been quite the trip. We took our first language test and I got novice high which is one step to where I need to be. They said this was a great place to be and if I work hard I will for sure get to intermediate low which is what I have to pass language and not get sent back to the US! After the test we then went to Teveta for a HIV/AIDS workshop where we learned a small amount of info on HIV, had great food (they even had a grill!), and got to drink quite a bit. The hotel had showers- hot water! The only bad thing is that I got bug bites all over my legs and they were really bad and swollen. They are much better now. After Teveta we went to do site visits. I went to visit Nick Chen who lives in the coastal region, however not on the coast at all. He lives in a little village with no electricity with not much around him. We had to stay in a tent in his extra room because there were so many bugs. This was all worth it because I got to swim in the Indian ocean- amazing. I even have some tan lines. We also got really good pizza and ice cream! We had a good time with Nick and I am really excited to get to my site and get started really being a volunteer. Just have to get through this language stuff first. Also got my first package from Ashley - thank you. Everything was perfect! Well hope all is well- oh PS going to be an aunt again!!! It's a boy.

Love and Miss ya all,

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Hey guys I know a few of you have asked about sending things here is the address while I am training. It takes a while especially for packages so if you want I would love ya. Miss you all. 
FYI- if you want to send a letter or package please send to:
Joy Storm
c/o Peace Corps Kenya
PO Box 698-00621
Nairobi  Kenya

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Hello peeps,
I have now been in Kenya for about 3 weeks. We are currently in Loitokitok doing training and will be here for another 8 weeks. Over this time I have learned to bath in a bucket bath, live without electricity, walk about 4 miles a day, live with a host family, and wear skirts everyday. We have language everyday which is coming along but still quite frustrating. I will be working here in Loitokitok with a maternal and child health clinic helping out not sure with what yet but I will keep you updated. I am pretty excited about this. We found out our sites yesterday and I will be going to Chwele. It is in the Western Region near the Uganda border and the city of Bungoma! I really wanted the coast however I am pretty much as far away as possible :( There is a mountain there and the scenery is suppose to be really beautiful. I also have some other volunteers close by.  So I should be good. I will go there if I get through training in August and will be there for the remainder of the time. I have been having a good time but I do miss America a lot, especially the hope all of you are doing good and you guys can email me or call me whenever since it doesn't cost me anything for your calls, but they might be expensive for you. Well until next time.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Got a phone!

Got a phone and explored Nairobi a little today. It's a little crazy with the traffic. They put so many people in the bus and taxis here that sometimes they are hanging out the door. Still learning the language and it seems to be going pretty well. Tomorrow we are going to our site for the rest of training and getting ready to meet our host family. Well going to call some people.
Phone number is
+ 254-704-596-586

Ps- if you are to call its free for me however not for you so check with your carrier on how much it costs. Also you have to do the + before the numbers.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I made it!!!

In Kenya!! Long delay from NYC, had to run through the airport in Brussels, and they lost my luggage with my teddy bear:( However I am glad to be here and I am really excited for things to start. Just wanted to check in with everyone.  Love you all

Monday, June 6, 2011


Hello everyone, I just finished staging in Philly and leave for Kenya tomorrow. I just wanted to let everyone know that once I get in Kenya my communication will be very limited for at least one week. Then hopefully I will be able to get a cell phone. This is due to the integration to the host family and language learning needed. So if you don't hear from me in a while its a good thing not a bad thing. Staging went well and I think my anxiety is decreased however still there. Well thanks for checking in on me and I look forward to sharing my experience with you all.
Joy Storm

Friday, June 3, 2011

Getting ready to leave

Hey guys one more night in Princeton and then I head to Philly. There I will be involved in the staging process for two nights. Then head off to Kenya which will take forever! I will try to keep you all updated. Miss ya guys.