Back to a life of buckets. Back to the world where when a dinner turns out bad and I can’t force the fork to my mouth any longer, it’s popcorn for dinner. (No pizza huts around here to save dinner fiascos.) Back to being shoved in matatus with goats behind me, chickens underneath my feet, mamas breastfeeding their babies on my shoulder and people asking for the clothes off my back.
I’m also back to sitting under trees with students, laughing and telling stories, to pass the afternoon heat. I’m back to softball, health club, malaria work, and helping out at the local dispensary.
It may be too early to say this, but I’m back to blogging. (Maybe.)
In December, I was feeling senioritis setting in. Besides the ungodly heat, I love where I am living and working. I enjoy and believe in the work I am doing (most days). But motivation was almost nowhere to be found.
So I took a break and gave myself the wonderful gift of family and home. AND delicious FOOD!
Besides my dad no one else knew I was coming home. It was thanksgiving when I had a weak moment and told my dad of my plans to come home for a visit. Plus I needed a ride from the airport.
(I had a great video, to post, of surprising my family but my computer broke and in the transferring of everything I lost a bunch of videos and pics.)
BUT I had a great time with my family and got the chance to see many great friends and people very dear to me.
I was hoping when I got back I would be rejuvenated and ready to work like crazy in my final leg of my Peace Corps service. Coming back to Kenya managed to be harder than I thought. I locked myself in my house for 3 days missing my family and thinking about all the food that I didn’t get to eat while in America (just not enough meals in the day.) Oh and I was still searching for the ever evasive motivation.
I finally got myself out the door and working again. I have had great workday after great workday with some noisy political rallies in between. I have been trying my best to avoid them but with an election in less than 5 weeks it is getting more difficult to avoid.
Last year, much of my time was spent distributing nets. This year I am making household visits to ensure the nets are hanging over sleeping areas and being properly used. In the beginning of the month, every house that we visited had their nets hanging!
In the middle of January, I had a meeting with USAID at the U.S. Embassy to talk about the malaria work I have been doing in the last quarter. They were very encouraging and supportive with excellent feedback on how to remedy some problems I have been running into. The meeting kicked me into high gear and there was the motivation I had been missing.
Last week, I met with the regional net supplier for my area. He has promised that he will personally deliver nets to me next week… that I have been waiting months to receive. I also have finally managed to open communication lines between net supplier and OVC (Orphans and Vulnerable Children Association) to have an ongoing supply of nets delivered each month. 87 phone calls, many meetings, and endless conversations with people all over Kenya, and I have finally got this worked out. It only took 10 months. It’s the small things that are the huge successes here. But this truly is a big deal. I live in an endemic area for malaria and yet nets aren’t available to the community except for pregnant mothers and children under 1. If my work ended tomorrow I would be satisfied knowing that anyone in the community now has access to mosquito nets for an incredibly low subsidized cost. Oh and the OVC that will be selling them gets a profit. It’s a win win.
And I’m back…