2/16 - This was the view from atop the crater just outside Nakuru, Kenya. In the first week of being in town, we followed the winding road up the steep hill to find this magnificent view.
3/16 - A favorite in Kenya, I started nearly every morning with chai and mandazi (similar to doughnut). Sometimes, we even had a lull in our mornings at the hospital, and the nurses and I would go to a nearby shop and purchase a few as a delicious snack.
4/16 - Walking a good majority of my day, this is the view from the bottom of the hill I walked up to get home at night. My family lived at the top of this hill so I often made friends along the walk uphill - local schoolchildren or our neighbors. There was never a day which lacked a good story or a child's hand to cling to.
5/16 - Throughout my eight weeks of working in the hospital, I often passed through the curio (tourist) market as I walked into town. Here, I made some very close Kenyan friends, including Susan, whose shop here is shown.
6/16 - As part of my internship at Provincial General Hospital, I worked in the Maternity Ward. Specifically, I spent part of that time in their version of a Newborn Intensive Care Unit. I was able to feed the babies, weigh them, bathe them, and then learn about their conditions from either the doctors or nurses (like Alice, above) with whom I closely worked.
7/16 - Often mothers not only shared beds with their children at PGH, but also with another mother and child. It was devastating to see and hear the cries of children as they waited hours for the single doctor working in the entire ward to come around on rounds to see them. The doctors I shadowed were beyond knowledgeable about infectious and tropical diseases; however, their wards were often far beyond understaffed.
8/16 - These are three of my favorite students, Margaret, Chaterine, and Elizabeth from the New Life African Orphanage School I also worked in at least twice a week. In addition to working at the hospital full-time, I was able to teach at a local school. I worked with both the "baby class" of kindergarten where we learned English and Swahili, to 8th grade where I helped another volunteer, Anahita, with an HIV/AIDS educational class once a week.
9/16 - Our host parents took the other volunteer whom I lived with and me to nearby Lake Naivasha where we enjoyed a barbecued goat and the company of new friends. As the day came to a close, we took a boat tour and enjoyed a quiet ride...until the hippos!
10/16 - One weekend, some of the other volunteers and I headed to the edge of Kenya and visited the port city of Mombasa. Seeming almost like a different country, Mombasa was on the coastline, predominantly Muslim, and full of tourism. Swimming in the Indian Ocean, and riding camels proved a nice weekend away, but at the end of our three days, we were again ready for the quiet town of Nakuru.
11/16 - As part of our ELI Abroad Program, we spent three days at the Masaai Mara National Reserve. We were able to see many numbers of African wildlife, including the Big Five! It was a very rare find to see not only elephants, lions, and cheetahs, but also a leopard (here in the tree with a fresh kill) and a Black Rhino.
12/16 - We spent one day outside Nakuru at St.Theresa's House of Hope, which is a home for orphaned children who have HIV/AIDS. We watched the children perform a song and dance for us as well as spent lunch and afternoon recess with them. It was truly one of the most touching and meaningful days of my, along with many of the volunteers, trip.
13/16 - This is one of the few pictures I took at the local market which sold items such as beans, rice, fish, and eggs. Being often crowded elbow to elbow, there was very little room to walk, let alone stop and take pictures. It was always an adventure!
14/16 - Our mama owned a local pub where we often spent many weekend nights relaxing and retelling stories from our adventures at our jobs. Not only were we able to get to know each other better, but we also met and chatted wtih many locals.
15/16 - In my last week in Nakuru we traveled to one of the local slums known as London, which is actually at the local dump site. As one of my most memorable days, I will never forget seeing the dozens of houses made of torn plastic sheets and cardboard. The people who live here are constantly fighting a battle with the government who argue that since this is a government-run piece of land, they are not allowed to live here. So, the government will send officials into the slums at random to tear down their houses and leave them without a place to live until they rebuild them or move elsewhere to live on the streets.
16/16 - Kenya consists of 42 tribes, and much violence has occurred between them in the past, especially in the most recent elections. However, images like this gave me hope that the citizens of Kenya are hoping for a better tomorrow.