Written by Danaiet Teame, Gloria Smith, Danielle McConnell, Hannah Hughes
We have successfully completed our first week here in Kenya! We arrived in Kirua where we will be living for the next three months on Tuesday, after spending two days in Nairobi. We were greeted at our new home at St. Teresa’s by Amy and Harrison, the nutrition students, and Sister Naomi. On the first full day in Kirua, the nursing students had orientation at St. Teresa’s hospital, where they were warmly welcomed by the staff and had a tour of the hospital. This tour ended in the OR where they observed the birth of a beautiful baby boy! Thursday was also spent in the hospital, where the students observed the birth of a gorgeous baby girl in the OR. The students and Kim then spent the later part of the day supporting a labouring mother and assisting with cares. The same day Hannah, the biology student went out into the community along with the nutrition students and Kevin to visit the homes of two women from the Muchui Womens Group. The biology research that will be conducted over the next three months is to assess the health and ecological impact that using firewood as cooking fuel has on women from the Muchui and Ruuju Womens Groups, as well as their families. Over the next 90 days, Hannah will be visiting 40 women between the ages of 25-45, and asking them questions about their health and wood collection/usage. Measurements of their cookhouses, as well as weight and moisture content of the wood used for cooking will be taken. Three more homes and women were visited on Thursday. The data collection went very well on both days, and it was great to be invited into the homes of these women, to get to know them and learn more about them.
We wrapped up the week by visiting the children at the Machaka Children’s Home on Friday morning. We look forward to visiting Machaka every Friday and will write more as we get to know the children. The weekend was spent at Samburu National Reserve as we observed the amazing local wildlife. We are looking forward to spending a full week in Kirua, working, and getting to know the community!