“You’ve been lost….”
This is a common saying among Kenyans. It took me a while to used to that saying….my first impulsive reaction was always to say something like “No, I’ve just been reading in my house…..No, I’m here, I’m not lost….No, I went to Nairobi but wasn’t lost.”
Basically, if someone doesn’t see you for a while they’ll say “you’ve been lost.” At first this used to bother me because I thought they were giving me a hard time about when I would escape to my house for an hour or two to read or prepare lessons for classes. With time I realized that it simply meant that they were acknowledging they hadn’t seen me in a while, wanted to know if things were okay, and where I had been. Kind of a way to start a conversation.
With time I’ve come to like this saying…..
Anyways, it’s been a while since my last blog post so will do a quick bullet October-November recap!
- I met up with some Americans from the Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center (IHTC) along with some Kenyan medical professionals in Eldoret. They were very kind and welcoming. I had a wonderful weekend in Eldoret and Nakuru with them. I also discussed with one of the Kenyan nurses about how to take a family history for genetic evaluation of Hemophilia disorders. It was fascinating to see the cultural differences (family is defined differently in Kenya than in America, a person’s mother may not be her/his biological mother but actually her/his sister) which did make it a bit of a challenge (fun challenge) trying to figure out how to incorporate the cultural differences with my family history intake knowledge. They also started one of the first Kenya newborn screening tests for Sickle Cell Disease during the week I was visiting. They’re hoping to do a Hemophilia/Sickle Cell Disease outreach within the next few months in my market town so am hoping I can be involved with that somehow.
- The following weekend (first weekend of November) I headed to Kisii with a couple of PCVs to celebrate one of their birthdays.
- Then another PCV visited my site to discuss a few things. We both are on the Peace Corps DAG (Deaf Advocate Group) committee and want to set up a KYLC (Kenya Youth Leadership Camp) for deaf secondary students in Kenya. We were able to recruit a deaf Kenyan to help us out with this but it’ll be a slow process trying to get it started.
- I headed to Nairobi for a few days for a Peace Corps DPS (Diversity Peer Support) committee meeting. It was so much fun to catch up with some PCVs who I hadn’t seen since April.
- I spent Thanksgiving in Nakuru with a diverse group (PCVs, Americans, and one person from China who is in Kenya teaching Chinese at a university).
- School closed last Tuesday (November 20th) so Classes 0-7 went home but Class 8 kids are still here preparing for their KCPE exams (Kenya Certification of Primary Education) which will start next week.
Ok, I think I’m all caught up….and I’m no longer lost, I’ve been found!