After months of planning, skyping, and anticipating our GROW trip, our team has arrived safe and sound in Mumias, Kenya. For those of you who don't know what we're doing, we're interning with an organization called WOPLAH, which stands for the Western Organization for People Living with HIV/AIDS. WOPLAH is composed of 11 people all living positively with HIV, who call themselves the Ambassadors of Hope. In the past two days, Edwin, the coordinator of WOPLAH, has taken us to meet a lot of public health officials in the community. Our understanding of how WOPLAH functions has increased exponentially, and we can't wait to learn even more about how the organization works on a day to day basis. Next week we're going to head into the field to really get to work!
Our first few days have been full of learning; learning new names, learning key kiswahili phrases, and learning how to cook and clean from one of Kenya's finest ladies, Mama Gladys. Gladys comes over to teach us how to cook and clean Kenyan style. She has been a huge help! Edwin found a house for us to rent for the six weeks that we're here, and none of us knew what to expect. We have 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, two bathrooms and a big living room. The best "feature" of the house is the wonderful family we have been temporarily adopted into. The house is located in an extended family's compound full of adorable little children and their very sweet and helpful parents. In Luyhia tradition, the entire nuclear family lives together within a gated compound, each individual family living in a separate house. The first born daughter gets to reside in the main house after the parents have passed and the last born son moves into the largest home, not 5 meters away. Because of this the yard is always full of screaming and giggling children!
I'm going to keep this post short, but stay tuned for many more blog posts to come in the next 6 weeks! Tomorrow morning we're headed to Kampala, Uganda for GlobeMed's first annual East Africa Forum. There will be 45 GlobeMed GROW interns as well as representatives from 14 of GlobeMed's partner organizations in East Africa. We are all SO excited to get to Uganda and meet everyone! Here are some pictures from the first 3 days in Mumias.
|Mama Gladys teaching Alexis how to do laundry|
|Rory and Edwin hanging up some clothes on the line|
|Maggie, Molly, Alexis and Sarah after meeting the family in our compound!|
|Sarah, Molly, Maggie, Edwin and Alexis|
|They're naturals already!|
|Our lovely lawn ornaments|