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Adventures on Rusinga Island

Public Health in the Schools

KENYA | Friday, 17 August 2012 | Views [501]

Thursday 6/7

The boys did not return today, which is fine. Today was the first day Meshack and I went to schools to administer the water and sanitation surveys. I spoke with the teacher and Meshack with the students. All in all, I think it went well. We first went to a primary school called Uya. It is one of the main schools, and I am under the impression they partner with Rusinga Island Trust fairly often. When we had completed the surveys at Uya, Elizabeth showed up and the 3 of us walked to a school called Eddie Memorial. Eddie is situated at one of the highest points of the island, in an area I have never been before today. The land around the school is semi-arid because of the location. They are about an hour walk from the lake, and they are really lacking in the area of clean water. They do not even have storage equipment for water at the school. Since they are on this large hill/ Mini Mountain, there is a really big problem with wind. Not just erosion, their school building is missing a substantial piece of roof. This side of the island is one of the most remote, but the teachers really seem to be trying to give the students a good education. For some reason I cannot explain, I fell in love with Eddie and really want to help them out. I can’t fix their roof, but if we planted trees to form a windbreak of sorts perhaps future damage can be avoided. Hopefully we can make that happen. We stayed there around an hour, and then walked back on a longer path. We stopped in a place called Gumba Beach, and Meshack bought us some mandazi, which is sort of like a binget or donut. By the time we returned home I was quite tired. I was supposed to go back to Uya that afternoon for a talk about conflict resolution, stress, and anger management, so Elizabeth said she and I could walk together. So June and I are talking and eating lunch together, and about 1:30 Elizabeth leaves. We were supposed to go together at 2:30, so I thought she would return. She did not. By 2:45 she was still not back, so I decided to go by myself, even though I didn’t know the way. So I start walking and I passed by this girl I met named Irene (she is the one whose living room I danced in yesterday). I told her where I was going, and she said she was going there too and we should walk together.  I did not even tell her I needed help getting there. God is so good. Even better, she showed me a shortcut. It isn’t like I could find it again, but the journey only took half the time. So I arrived before Meshack or Elizabeth and just hung out in the teacher’s lounge. I got to spend time with some of those teachers, which was not only fun but very beneficial for me. As it turns out Elizabeth was waiting for me at the center the whole time, so it was nothing more than a miscommunication. Teaching the class went ok, but the kids had a devil of a time understanding my or Elizabeth’s accent. So I felt superfluous. That night Elizabeth joined us for dinner. The four of us had a good time just being free in each other’s company. So basically, another full and tiring and wonderful day!

Tags: public health, reproductive health, sanitation, schools, survey, walking, water

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