Sunday, July 24, 2011

The final Countdown: wrapping up Ruju and saying some fair wells

By Amy Rawlinson and Harrison Blizzard

On Monday we visited the Ruuju area to complete our food security and diet diversity data collection. We were able to arrive early in the morning and, consequently, we had time to complete the remaining seven interviews. As per usual all of the women we interviewed were so grateful. At each home we were given Kenyan style tea and even bags of eggs from others; we are leaving in two weeks and even now we are still taken aback by the amount generosity these women show us. With the dry weather the women of Ruuju have been having difficulties, though not to the same extent as the women of the Muchui area, with obtaining enough of their staple foods, fortunately, some women (who farm land many kilometres away) that we interviewed we able to get a satisfactory crop yield this growing season. We have left these women with in hopes that this and the next growing season we come with plentiful rain to support themselves and their families.

We also visited two schools, Marinya-a-Ruibi and Kieni Kia Ndege, to say our farewells and show our appreciation for all of their hospitality. Just to remind readers, during our time here we visited five different schools and presented nutrition education and methods of increasing the nutrient content of their traditional Kenyan dishes to the nursery school classes parents. Without the great support from the teachers of all of these schools our presentations would not have been successful as they all were. We said our good-byes to all of the teachers and then to the students.

At the end of the week we visited Machaka orphanage where we gave a brief education session on infant feeding recommendations to a group of students, some Machaka staff, and some people from the community. For this presentation we arrived early, during prayer time, and ended up having to do our presentation in the middle of prayer time, which we are thinking was in place of the sermon. All in all we said sawa sawa and everything worked out just fine. We both hope that we will be able to bring this laid back attitude back to Canada! After our presentation (or sermon on nutrition) we went and helped feed feed the infants and just give them a bit of love and attention before we had to leave.

We are sad that our work here is slowly coming to a close, but we are hopeful that the nutrition education we have done here will have a positive impact on those we were able to share our knowledge with.

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