Where the creek meets the Ocean
Trip Start Nov 16, 2009
3Trip End Apr 08, 2010
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Where I stayed
While waiting for a friend in Mombasa to pick me up at the bus station, several Kenyans approached me to ask if I was alright and if they could help. I feel safe here.
While traveling, people asked me about where I am living. I told many of them that I was in Masheheni (the Project's village). Only one person of the two dozen or so that I told knew where Masheheni was: "Oh, you are where the creek meets the ocean". Sure.
I moved to the village next to the Imani Project this week
There is also no electricity in the village. The members of my household (3 families in three rooms) cook in their bedrooms over small charcoal stoves. The Imani Project's Kenyan Director, Francis, has made special accomodations for me, by bringing in a generator so I can work in the evenings. The family has told me that it's only to be used for a couple of hours in the evening, but he insists that I should use it any time I do work...I'm a little confused about who I should side with and how I'll get my work done while keeping the peace.
There are a dozen or so manyattas (grass and mud houses) in my community, one drug store (with more bare than stocked shelves), two convenience stores, and a restaurant. No buildings are over one storey high and I live in the only concrete home.
To get Internet and supplies (groceries, books, bath products, etc) I need to travel into Malindi
Some of the Imani project staff, volunteers, and Kenyan board members met briefly today. Francis and I set our agenda for the month which centres around visits to the orphan's villages so I can understand the programming a little better and start to write funding requests and applications. Francis told me that if I pray hard enough for the poor, then the funding will be granted. I'm thinking I have a lot of work ahead of me. I don't want to disappoint anyone.
I had a long talk with the Imani volunteers today. They told me that more funding is needed and they are having a hard time volunteering and not being paid. Many of them give up work for the day to teach the communities about sexual health and how they can prevent being infected with HIV.
Last weekend government sponsored community health workers visited several of the communities that Imani works with to test for HIV. Of the 52 people tested, only one proved positive. The Imani volunteers are very proud.
While we had a reletively short conversation today, many interesting problems were pointed out
Additionally, they told me that the flour they receive originates in the USA. The Imani Projet volunteers are under the impression that this is because the enriched flour can only be grown in the USA, but I'm curious to find out more.
So far everything is falling into place. I'm glad to be here. I'm relieved that the community is excited to have me, but I'm concerned about being tough enough to deal with the day-to-day challenges that the community faces (water shortages, no electricity, limited medicine and few supplies).