Monday, August 10, 2009


I am off to Nairobi in the morning! Saying some final goodbyes. Now it's on to the next adventure the coast..MOMBASA!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I have been super busy lately writing our final paper, analyzing data, and getting ready for our final presentation to the community. Lots of hard work but it is quickly coming to an end.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


A goat was killed today and eaten. I would have maybe thought about trying to eat the goat but considering they eat garbage in the street I decided to pass and stick to my diet of peanut butter and white bread. We are done interviewing the Maasai and now we are analyzing our data and working hard. 2 more weeks left. WOOoo! I miss home

Friday, July 24, 2009


The little Maasai children where touching my skin, smelling me, and playing with my hairy arms while I was working in the field today. I left the field with random braids in my hair. I was really amused and I know the children where just as amused with me. It is weird being the odd one!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I miss Butters

In "the field"

My back is finally better. I ran for the first time in a week yesterday and got some energy out of my system. On top of that I had full day. We had our first day of fieldwork. After long days of developing a survey and working with logistics of the program we are finally onto some more exciting work. I am now appreciating all the hard work we did because it is making the fieldwork run so much smoother.

The morning started off with waking up at 6 am so we could drive to the Mbiricani group ranch where we administered a survey with a partner and a translator/guide. I am so happy we have a translator/guide, I would have been so lost and confused and nothing would be possible without their help.

Finally we were on the road around 7 am. Luckily there were few cars out and it was mostly locals and children on their way to school. No scary driving!! We were dropped off in specified area (cluster sample) to gather data. We ventured from house (boma) to house interviewing the locals. The culture is amazing and people are beautiful. In such a desolate dry environment that seems dead and hopeless is a culture shining in color vibrating with loving energy.

I can already tell a lot of things are getting lost in translation. Some of them are silly and others are awkward. While pretesting our survey, on the KooKoo Ranch, another girl Nikki and I thought the translator was telling us to give the lady we were interviewing "a shilling" to show our thanks. So we looked at each other...thinking awkward and then I took out some money not knowing what to do. Our translator started laughing and told us NO NO NO. In reality he was telling us to say thank you very much "oshe-leng" in Maasai. We got confused and though he was telling us to give the mama money. The situation was quickly resolved and many other little funny things have happened like that. Each situation is a learning experience and even though some are painful or hurt at the time they pay off in the end or teach you a good lesson. Like don't pay "a shilling" to the mamas for information.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Club

Yesterday we visited an orphanage. I have a new little friend his name is Mpapa. Apparently he was found living with some livestock about 8 years ago he is 12 now. Considering the circumstances of the poverty here and how most people live the orphans have it pretty good. Still it was heartbreaking. Every child had their own story and they were so happy to see us. They sang us welcome songs and looked really cute. Again I cried the music here is amazing and moving. It is unbelievable how grateful everyone is for having so little. It makes you appreciate the little things in life. All the children here are so much better behaved than American children. They never cry and are angels. I want one! I think it has something to do with children acting on their parent’s energy and vibes. The mothers here are laid back and everything is about survival and the children know this and behave in such a fashion.

Later in the afternoon we visited a women’s AID’s clinic I heard some moving testimonials. Well kinda, I did fall asleep at one point and almost fell flat on my face. I am still jetlagged. I swear my body is so hypersensitive. I feel so beat up.
Back to the AID’s clinic the women do beadwork in order to support themselves and the clinic. The beadwork is beautiful. Even if it was not you are obligated to buy something!

After a long day of eye opening experiences we got to go to the local “club”. It was way more awesome then I expected. We got to drink beer. We sat outside in this hut with a view of Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background. At first I was expecting the club to be a cinderblock building with no windows. I was wrong so even though the beer was warm the view was great.

Lately I have been missing coffee and they have coffee for us here every morning premade and then some powdered coffee. I always go for the premade coffee thinking the powered stuff has to be weak. I never get a coffee buzz and I am in state of constant disappointment. So this afternoon, well about hour ago I drank some of the powered coffee because we were out of the other stuff. The powered coffee is like crack. I am so high from the African bean. I have the jitters like crazy. I have no outlet to get rid of my energy either I can’t run my back hurts so I sit around about to jump out of my skin.

All day we had classroom developing our survey that we are going to administer to Maasai community this next week. This portion of the project is really boring and I have trouble sitting still for hours on end. I cannot wait until we get to go out into “the field” and interview the locals. To play a little catch up on what I am working on I will give a quick background again. Lately the health status of the Maasai population has recently declined at an alarming rate. So our job as students is to develop and administer a survey to identify what it causing the recent health decline in the Maasai community. Once we identify the problems we will make recommendations on what the community can do to improve their health.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cassie is the best in the world.
Lala salama (peaceful night)
I love Tusker

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hi Mom

Hi Mom,
Kenya is still great. The past couple days have been interesting. We had a market day where the entire time I swarmed by “the mamas” local Maasai women trying to sell me trinkets. They stalk you out and the only Swahili I know is Hapina Asente (no thanks)! It’s the most useful phrase ever except when I say that or ignore them they just hit me. Then I have to say cina pesa (no money)! It is really annoying and there is no possible way to describe the market.

Every day the past week we have had intense classroom work developing surveys and learning about the culture we are going to be working with. Luckily the classroom is open to the outdoors and there are always baboons I can watch. I love those baboons they are so silly! There is a cook here named Author and he hates the baboons. He tells us stories about how he was camping and he came back to his tent a baboon was sitting in his tent drinking his milk and eating his food. He is always chasing them and venting about how he hates them.

Yesterday we got a break from the classroom to go help with the Kimana Water Project. The goal of the water project is to make safe water available to the community. I was really excited it seemed like a cool thing to do. Little did I know we be doing rigorous manual labor with the natives. It was so intense my group helped build a canal. Our work consisted of filling wheel barrels with gravel, shuttling 5 gallon buckets of water, and mixing cement. From there we built the frame for the canal and filled it the cement. We had a lunch break at one point and all the Kenyans where just drinking tea so we gave them our lunches. From there we continued to work and somehow I threw my back out. It was terrible and still feels terrible I could not move and so I laid on my back and then in the fetal position to try and release some of the pain. The rocky ride back on the terrible roads was not nice.

I woke up this morning and still felt terrible so they took me to the local clinic. NICE they have really good health care here. Just kidding!! Luckily it was just my back and nothing invasive. The doctor gave me some intense painkillers and valium. BAHAHAHA! I feel so much better and I slept forever considering I didn’t sleep last night.

Hopefully my back will release and maybe I should do yoga like mom said. She is always right! Tomorrow we visit an orphanage. When I was in town at the clinic today I bought all the crayons at the local duka. I heard a rumor they love crayons, pencils, and pens. We are also visiting a women’s clinic tomorrow and going to another market. WOO can’t wait!!

P.S. Mom today I made everyone say one thing they were thankful for. I miss you!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Duka Duka Duka

The internet has been unavailable the last couple day! Our connection is routed somewhere out of Italy, every time I log onto my computer it is in Italian.
The past couple days we have been learning about the native people called the Maasai. We are doing research within their communities. The natives are having problems with clean water, agriculture, sanitation, and many other problems that are all interconnected (public health concerns). We visited another clinic and it was terrible and depressing. Nothing like anyone could imagine. There is no power and the lab has a microscope and is solar/battery powered. It sounds innovative, but it is awful and dirty. The maternity lab was the most disturbing, if I was a woman in this community I think I might go disappear and live in a hole and never birth children.

On the bright side..we went on a safari yesterday. All I could think of was lion king and sing “in the jungle the mighty jungle the lion sleeps tonight.” My goal was to see some lions, they are rare stuff. The day consisted of driving to Amboseli national park and getting hounded by the locals to buy some stuff at the entrance. My mom would love it here it’s like the flea market every day. Next I saw some zebras, various animals that looked like deer, monkeys, elephants, hippo, and on our way out we saw LIONS!! They are crazy a huge buffalo walked right into the pack and charged them and the lions just laid there. It is an experience to see the animals in their natural habitat. We got distracted in the park and it took longer than expected to get to the exit of the park. You do not want to be there after dark, I am sure everyone can imagine all the logic behind that. We got out of the park at dusk and had a dark ride home which is always scary too with crazy drivers and continuous games of chicken. I am not a fan!

Last night after the long day I slept for the first time in a while. It was a normal sleep not all weird. I still feel like I am cracked out! After some sleep all I could think about is CANDY. My candy tummy got so hungry. We have a store (Duka) that consists of candy and sometimes soda, postcards, and stamps. I waited forever for the Duka to open and all I could think about was duka duka duka candy candy candy internet please work and dinner. I bought some peanut M&M’s and they taste like soap. I did get some dinner and now the internet is working. I am pretty happy. There are also random stray cats her that will give you ring worm if you pet them. They chase you and meow I hate them so much.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Today while we were in the land cruisers driving to the AID (Africa Infectious Disease) clinic the scenery looked identical to Arizona. Kinda like camp verde. Thats all I got for now! Hi-ya to all!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hokey Pokey

The Maasai are amazing people. Upon the groups visit they sang us welcoming songs. They where so moving words cannot give them justice. I could not understand a thing but the dance and rythm (I know I have none). It was so beautiful I cried. I am really glad I had dark sunglasses on because I would have looked like an idiot.

Our song was really moving and full of American culture too. We sang the Hokey Pokey!!! The great thing is that they could not understand a thing we where saying either so they thought our song was amazing too and loved it. Too bad it was really stupid and dumb! The village consisted of four husbands and tons of women and children. The houses where tiny and made of cow dung and straw. The women make the houses and are responsible for pretty much everything besides the herds. I think I probably got a few diseases from walking around the small village in animal dung. It was totally worth it!

Also today I went on a run. I saw a rhino and the locals where whipping rocks at it too make it move so it would not ruin their crops. It was insane and the animal would not move. I got scared that it might run and kill me so I went on. The next part of my run I came across something that looked like a rabbit but who knows it could have been a squirrel. HEHE. The sun then started to sent at my back and when I looked forward I had a beautiful view of Mt. Kilimanjaro (there is a girl here that ran for providence named Annie that I was running with). So the next thing we know we are running and I see three Hyennas we freaked out and sprinted back which wasn't far. It was definately a rush and the wildlife here is out of control. Running the loop around the camp that is less than a mile has not gotten old you see knew things each lap.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Yesterday my group and I arrived in Nairobe in the morning and from there we had a 5 hour drive in the land cruisers with the most insane driving I have ever experienced in my life. I would compare it to a continous game of chicken where cars are always passing each other at extremely high speeds. It seemed like the whole time we where on a crazy road with no lines no pavement on a collusion course for another vechical. I ate a Zebra and skinned a giraffe (Just kidding I mean I caught a glimse of some from the land cruiser). I also got to take a short run today, there is a mile long course around our camp, and I saw crazy monkeys, some birds, and Mt. Kilimanjaro. It is amazing.

In my panic to pack I forgot a few things including my camera charger, a headlamp, raincoat, and vitamins. When I was in NYC I realized that headlamp and raincoat and purchased those. They are lifesavers. Walking around in the dark with snakes scary critters would have been terrible and then looking for the bathroom would have been even worse. It is all Butters fault in my rush to leave he took a poo all over the house. He is a terrible dog!

Customs is way easier to get through than I thought. Maybe it's because I was with a school group but it was easier than regular airport security. The food is amazing and I would compare this place to the Ryerson's (Spring Creek Ranch) in Arizona. It is breathtaking and amazing.

Tomorrow we go out into the community. I can't really give anything justice with words.

Monday, July 6, 2009


On July 4th I departed for NYC. The fireworks where amazing from the airplane. I had a quick stop to see Grace and we shared some quality dainty time. She is really living the dream!

From NYC I boarded a 9:35 pm overnight flight to London. I did not sleep at all! I met some of my classmates that I am sure I will become very close with. We had a 12 hour stop over in London where we took an express tour. Nodding of and on the entire time. It seems like a weird dream where I don't think I will remember much I bonked hard and was in zombie mode and then drank too much coffee. My favorite part was seeing Harry Potters 9 and 3/4 platform at the train station.

I am extremely tired and have my flight to Kenya is about 8 hours (overnight again) and then from there we have a four hour drive. Hopefully I will sleep.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Acuna Matata

On July 5th I leave for Kenya! It is official I bought my plane ticket today. To keep all my family and friends updated I decided to start a blog. I am new at this but I will try to do my best.

When I am in Kenya I will be working with School for Field Studies through Boston College. I will be living and studying on the Tanzania/Kenyan border at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I hear it is beautiful and full of amazing wildlife.

So far the only phrase I know in Swahili is Acuna Matata "no worries" and I learned that from Lion King. ( Also Elsa sent me some $2 dollar Kenyan bills and gave me the advice to bring tissue with me because most of the bathrooms do not have any (probably some of the best advice I will recieve). I am looking foward to my experience and all that I am going to learn.