Sunday, July 10, 2011

Weeks 2 and 3

by: Hannah Hughes

Time is flying by in Kenya! The research project is well under way, and a lot has been accomplished since the project was first blogged about our first week in Kiirua. Last week, Kevin, Kim, and I (Hannah, the biology student) put on respiratory clinics Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for the Muchui women between the ages of 25 and 45 who are eligible to be part of the research. Although that is the criteria for the research, that did not stop men and women alike of all ages to come and get a health assessment done by Kim! The first day we put on the clinic we had almost 30 women come, which was amazing. Afterwards we were questioning why we had worried about the women showing up! Not only was it an opportunity for the women to get their health checked, and to become part of the study, it was also a great social outing for them. This was evident in the time that the women spent sitting around talking to each other, even hours after their assessments had been completed. On Tuesday not quite as many women showed up, as I think many of them thought it was just on Monday. Of the women that did show up on Tuesday, one woman walked 12 kilometers to come see us, and had to get excused from teaching for the afternoon to do so. We had just been about to get in the van and head back to St. Teresa’s, but thankfully she caught us just in time! I was amazed and appreciative that someone would go to that much effort to come see us, and be able to participate in the study. On Thursday, we held the last clinic for the Muchui women, and we had almost 15 more women come. The three days combined were a great opportunity to meet all the women who will be participating in the study, and get to know them a little bit before I go to their farms. Kevin and Kim left on Friday, and I am now on my own for the remaining research! Between Tuesday and Thursday of this week, I did a total of eight home visits along with Amy. I was able to see some diversity in the women, as some had more income than their farm alone, and that was visible in the fact that these women buy their firewood, and even gas in some cases. All of the visits went great; the women are so welcoming and easy to talk to. I am looking forward to visits scheduled in the upcoming weeks!

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