Sunday, June 3, 2012
First home visits for Nutrition Team 2012
An incredible week once again. Kim and the nurses arrived (Christine and Melanie), so now we have all the students together, which is great. A fantastic group! Sunday is very quiet, and we are all enjoying reading, cooking and doing laundry. A good catch up day for everyone. My feet (Jen’s) are cracked and stained red from walking on the dirt roads. I bought a volcanic rock at the Nakumatt to scrub my feet, which works pretty well. I am being a wimp with the cold shower, so I am doing the ‘bathing in the Nile River’ routine. Boil water, pour into a plastic basin and add some cold from my shower tap. Then dunk head in the basin, swirl, and try and wet the bird’s nest. The water is always brown when I pull my head out. Nice hair product, that dust- keeps the hair from blowing around.Fergie helped make pancakes and we enjoyed them with bananas and the last mango we had. Delish. Here’s a recap of the past week’s work by the nutrition students: What a day Tuesday was! We started off by piling into a taxi to go to Mikinduri (Ruuju); the students, Jennifer, and the translator. We got to the school and thought we were going to be meeting with the champs but there was a miscommunication, it is very common here as they don’t always understand our English. We set out to do our home visits as this was the next thing we had planned to do that day. It was very different and there was no way really to prepare for it. For the first visit, we all had a different set of questions we would be asking the woman. We did a 24-hour recall, food security questionnaire and then asked a few questions about her shamba (kitchen garden). The next farm we went to was a little different. This woman was extremely poor and would sometimes go days without eating. It sure makes us think about all the stuff we complain about. After seeing this we can’t believe that we’ve ever said ‘we’re starving’ while waiting for lunch or dinner to be made. These people are actually starving. We take sooo much for granted at home and don’t realize it until we see people in this situation. After visiting the two previous farms, we met with one last woman. Although she too had very little to offer and was obviously quite poor, she cut up a (very ripe...almost compostable) pawpaw (papaya) using a machete. Before offering it, she did something which we've encountered a few times since- she warmed some water, and came to us with a bowl to wash our hands. Such a lovely tradition- again, they are so kind! We all had trouble stomaching the pawpaw but managed to eat at least one piece.