I know it's been a long time since I've posted anything. I'm still here. I'm still doing fine. I'm still very busy. No more of this write blog posts 3+ times in a week and then posting them. Partly I'm really busy and also we're using the computer a lot for research work and it's not easy to charge, so I can't take a lot of time on the computer that's no work. We checked with Apple to see if there was any kind of external charger to charge batteries without needing to be in the computer, but they don't make anything like that. If anyone has any other ideas, please share them! At least today I bought a bicycle in Kisumu so I'll be able to go myself to charge the battery. That will make it at least a little bit easier.
Last weekend I went to Eldoret, a town in the Rift Valley area to visit a friend and a host sister. Before I left, we visited a local creamery and had (good) ice cream and I bought some cheddar cheese. At home, I used it to make scrambled eggs with lots of veggies, which my family really enjoyed. I made spaghetti a few weeks ago, and then againlast week with eggplants. Yum. I enjoy cooking and it's especially gratifying when people like what you make. My only problem is the smoke from the fire. My eyes are a bit sore most of the time, which isn't good.
In Eldoret, I went to visit my friend Noel, who many of you helped sponsor to do a 2 year college training course in Mass Communications and Journalism. She is loving it and will finish in December. I visited her school and talked to the principal of the program who said that she is doing really well and is especially good at broadcasting, which is difficult for a lot of people. She has the drive and strong personality required for it. The thing she needs now in order to be able to start working on her own is a computer, digital camera and video camera. I'm working on getting Dave to refurbish my old laptop a bit (well, actually I haven't asked him yet). It's from 1998, but it will at least be a start and it would be free. If anyone else has anything better or parts that they would like to donate, please let me know. Also, if anyone has an old digital camera that they're not using anymore, or an old video camera (preferably digital), please let me know. There's no money to buy things like this, but if there's anything we can gather, it would help her a lot to be able to do free lance work and to continue getting experience. Dave will be coming in December, so I'm planning for him to bring whatever we can manage to find to give to her.
My research is going well. Briefly, I'm looking at the development work in the area where I lived when I was in Kenya as an undergrad. I'm looking a government projects, NGO projects and the work that lots of small groups are doing. I'm trying to see what all is happening as well as to understand what people's goals and priorities are in the area. What kind of development and life do they themselves want. I think it will be really good, but definitely a marathon from now until December. A friend advised me before I left not to try to do a PhD's worth or research for a Master's thesis research, but I think I will end up doing exactly what she told me not to do. But, isn't that what I always do? Make every project twice as big as it needs to be, then stress about getting it done? Seriously, I think it will be really good and I think that it will make a difference in the community, although not necessarily in the ways that people are expecting. They want tangible help, but the help that I will give them will be with ideas and building capacity. In the end, I think that kind of help is what will be the most useful.
Last week, Julie asked for clarification. Right now I am in Kenya and will be here until the end of the year. Dave is in Michigan (actually up north right now doing an orthopedics rotation with his Dad and his partners). He will be coming to Kenya just before Christmas and will visit the village where I'm living. Then together we'll go to Malawi for him to work in the hospital for most of January and February. So, we had 6 months apart all together before he comes, out of the 8 months that I will be gone total. Right now, we're about halfway through. By the end of this week, I will have been here in East Africa for 3 months, and will have just over 3 months left before Dave comes.
Well, I'd better go, since I have a short amount of time and LOTS of things to do. Maybe sometime I need to come for a whole weekend and just sit with my computer here! It's tough because I'm trying to be intentional about staying in touch, but I also have so much school work to do. I keep coming to town with too many things on my list and lots of things just get pushed off to the next week so the list just grows. So, I'll go for now. I had hoped to post pictures, but there are other things I need to do first - like write an update for my advisor.