Child Pregnancy

Trip Start Mar 18, 2009
Trip End May 14, 2009

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Where I stayed
the Center

Flag of Kenya  ,
Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I didn't wake up well today. Initially I had a stomach ache which later morphed into a headache. Do not have high fever just yet, but feel that it can happen any minute. It could be malaria; could be something I contracted from the water or anything that I might have gotten from one of the kids. Hope none of these...

Followed our pregnant girl, Shayna, to the hair saloon. She was supposed to have stayed with her tribe in Pokot, but she decided to just show up at the Center without prior notice. At the saloon, I told her that I was going to town for a meeting and that I did not want to see her when I return. Gave Kennedy the Nurse 300 shillings just in case she came up with the excuse of not having enough for the bus fare. Felt bad doing this to a pregnant girl, but somebody had to be made into a scapegoat so that this incident did not recur. Shayna is the second case where a boy and a girl living at the Center accidentally have a baby...

For the first time, I went to town alone. The first matatus I came across just passed by me because they were full up to the brim. Finally, one stopped in front of the Everready battery factory that is close to the Center. 10 minutes later I was in town. It took another 10 minutes to get my bearings. Then, I quickly walked towards the Advocate's office, which was in the same building as the regional headquarters of USAID.

As expected, the Advocate made me wait for an hour. I waited in the compact lounge half watching a pony cartoon, half asleep. When he finally invited me into his office, we started talking about our 2 farmers. He told me to fire them at the end of the month, if the Founder had given permission. He added that we should go to the Chief of Police who was on the International Humanity Foundation's (IHF) advisory board, in case the farmers acted aggressively. About the lawsuit regarding a bunch of previous employees stealing the Founder's money, the Advocate said that the Founder had to write a formal letter to the prosecutor explaining her excuse for not being able to attend the court that was coming up. The Advocate also gave me some lawyering duties like getting certain bits of information regarding the case from the prosecutor. I said I would do it. As a side note, the Advocate knew Ken, my conact in Nairobi who had multiple degrees from the Yale Law School. I had gotten in touch with Ken via email and he had told me that he was involved in IHF's projects. However, he was nowhere in sight. Although we called him on his cell, he didn't pick up. The Advocate's guess was that he was busy playing golf in Nairobi.

After I left the Advocate's office, I ate a slice of watermelon on the go. 20 shillings. As I was passing by, noticed that the most Western café in town, Café Guava, is closed on Saturdays.

Stopped by our classic internet café, Dream Bay Cyber World. I have decided not to send any documents related to this organization, with my name. In fact, top executives expect me to spend 4 hours per day at an internet café that is subject to an overloaded server and frequent power-cuts, sending out generic emails that ask for money.

It is interesting how simple yet challenging environments, like the orphanage I have been living at, make you realize that you had fallen in love. You may not have suspected it even once... One pitch black night, it may come to you as you lye on your creaky bed waiting for a rodent to creep in through your broken window.

Didn't feel like eating anything. I think I am simply sick of getting the same food every meal, so I proceeded directly to the Tusky's supermarket to buy 5 liters of drinking water, toast, spread and toilet paper.

By the time I returned from town to the Center, our new volunteer Janika had checked in. She is a young physical therapist from Estonia. Has brought medication and inflatable balls for the kids. She has a bad cough and a bit of a fever. Honestly, I wouldn't want to get sick in this kind of an environment...

Was glad that the pregnant girl had left. Dealing with her was emotionally draining.

Took my tri-daily shower with a bucket of dirty water, my Palmolive liquid soap and a small water bottle.

Could not eat more than a few bites of my ugali. Gave the rest to Turu. He immediately gave the half-empty plate to another boy. It's amazing how greedy and destructive these kids are. When he hesitantly brought my plate back, it wasn't properly washed.

Helped Arekai, an 8th grader, with Math. His math is unbelievably bad. He cannot even do simple fraction problems, although his teacher had told me that he was one of the best in his class. I guess a part of the issue is that he doesn't understand the question fully, as it is in English. I fail to understand the education system here... How can they teach Math and Science in English without teaching them proper English first?

We had our first unofficial supervisors' meeting with our director Naomi, our nurse Kennedy and Janika. Discussed what needed to be announced at the general meeting tomorrow. The chief issue to be handled is of course pregnancy.
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