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Sunday, July 3, 2011

First Kenya Post (Two and a Half Weeks Into My Internship) :/

OK! So sorry I haven't posted ANYTHING about Kenya. I realized I kinda suck at blogging..... it takes SO much more time and energy then I thought it would and when I blog I want it to be good. I get intimidated and then don't even start. I have high hopes for this one :D

I guess I should start by talking about my internship and my project here. I am here for 6 weeks working with an faith based organization called HEART (Health Education Africa Resource Team) It was started 11 years ago in order to help battle the HIV/Aids pandemic. It has now grown to not only focus on health teaching and clinics but also working in poor areas with AIDS infected mothers (WEEP = Women's Empowerment Equality Project), helping kids get female breeding goats and a uniform to help them pay/ stay in school (Kids For Schools), and lastly a piece that helps girls to manage their monthly cycles so they can stay in school and be empowered to grow up and do great things (Freedom for Girls). So that was kinda a run on sentence! Us 4 interns and our intern coordinator live in the big, and beautiful, "main house" where we laugh until we cry, watch hilarious youtube videos, spend hours learning about past heartbreaks, our families, or likes/dislikes, our childhoods, etc. We also manage to get a little work done! Sometimes.... ;) I love them ALL already and one of them, Meghan, has only been here 3 days! All in all it is me, Ashlee (The hilarious story teller who almost always has a smile on her face), Brittany (The one who has scary similar music taste as me!), Meghan (who has the cutest laugh ever), and then there is our intern coordinator Katelyn (Beautiful and chill and the rock that holds the group together).

Now I'm settled in here and it has been interesting learning to be in one place for an extended period of time again lol I got used to moving every 3 or 4 days! I get restless sometimes but I love it here and i'm definitely not ready to be heading home any time soon. I do often wonder what is happening in Cali tho...  Anyways... my project is helping the one part of HEART's missions called Freedom for Girl's or FFG. I've been given the task of helping Lydia, the AMAZING Kenyan woman that leads this area, to assess the success and failures of the program's 1st year in order to help it improve upon this first years experiences.  We hope to learn from this 1st year so future years will run more smoothly and help girls more effectively. I've already put the data together from our 4 day trip up country to Taita, where we visited 8 FFG programs in 2 days!, and now I need to help do a piece of the trips summery (due tuesday!) and eventually make a slide show for fundraising. BEEN SUPER COOL! The FFG girls are simply beautiful and getting to meet/interview them for this project has been a privilege. It is one thing to know I project is doing good, but it is a whole other thing to get on the ground, up close and personal, with the very people it is helping. Just to be welcomed in, hear some of their stories, and see the confidence that HEART's help has brought to these girls has only strengthened by belief in the work God is doing through HEART.

I miss everyone at home and hope all is well. Thank you for your prayer and support!

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