Truly Engaging

Posted: July 31, 2012

Being in Maasailand has been enchanting, with the baboons and vervet monkeys swinging in the nearby acacia trees and the bats pooping on us students at night. It’s always a thrill to watch for snakes, such as the red spitting cobra, and to glimpse Mt. Kilimanjaro while walking around the bush camp.

I’ve been especially amazed by the stars that shine brighter here than any other place I’ve been, and the young Maasai warriors with okra-dyed hair that ride on bicycles around the Kimana area.

Classes in epidemiology and Kenyan public health standards and practices have made me think critically and have been truly engaging. They are positively preparing us students for conducting research in the community to determine if community health workers positively affect the health of the community they’re serving.

Out of all of these things mentioned, one of the most memorable moments has been visiting the Maasai mamas, where they sang for us, and we reciprocated by singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. We then proceeded to teach them how to do the Hokey Pokey.

Also, assisting at the mobile clinic, where we students weighed, measured, de-wormed, and provided vitamin A  to children, has informally been voted the favorite part of the SFS experience thus far. Local community health workers immunized children and provided valuable health education, such as the importance of breastfeeding, to the caregivers at this clinic.

This experience has been made special because I get to spend time with university students from both the United States and Kenya. Just the other night, we had a bonfire, and the very important lesson of teaching the Kenyan students how to make S’mores occurred. And, of course, camp songs were sung, including Kenya’s and the United States’ national anthems.