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

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