Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Education nation

The secretaries in the department have decided it's time I get into full immersion mode, which is interesting, given the level of Swahili I've accomplished in the last week and a half.  I think they are having a good time making fun of me, but I'm enjoying it as well.  Words I am very comfortable with, i.e., can use without giggling every time, include:

jambo- hello
habari? how are you?
nzuri. fine.
nzuri sana- doing fine/ well.
sasa?  what's up?
kidogo, a little.
sawa. ok.
asante, thank you
asante sana, thanks a lot.

I've been a bit distracted from them the past few days, but the books I'm reading, besides the Rough Guide to Kenya, kindly lent/ given to me by Joanna, include Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, and The Africans, by David Lamb. 

I met more interesting IU folk today, and got to know others much better.  It is such a distilled experience, being here together, and I find the people here to be great.  Kai came to spend the day in radiology with us, and as an IU student contemplating pediatric surgery, I hope, and I think that it was, a good learning opportunity for him!

Running the goat trails with Chris the other day was great, and I look forward to doing it again after the queasiness I've been feeling subsides.  Perhaps I've been too adventurous in my food choices.  The food here is great, and if it weren't for the lack of appetite, I'd be gaining many pounds.  Tonight maybe 50 of us ate at a restaurant in town called Sikh Union. The food was fantastic, and there were badminton courts in an adjoining room, which was incredible.  I sat between Katie, a med student from Utah, who went to Brown for her undergrad studies, and Kate, an Environmental Engineer PhD candidate from Purdue, with ties to Newport, RI.  Funny how that happens.

Besides the usual work, this week I'll be starting to help Marc Kohli, a body imager and informatics guru from IU, to provide better imaging services to outlying clinics surrounding Eldoret.  It's nice to have an immediate impact by helping out in the department, but this project could have the potential to have a wider and more durable impact for many patients in the AMPATH sphere. We shall see!


  1. OMG BARB!! You are soooooo cool!!!

  2. My favorite phrase was "na wewe je." I think it means - how about you? I don't think I learned much swahili, but everytime Wyclef would ask me a question, I'd respond. "Sawa. Na wewe je?" At first he was frustrated he couldn't get me to say much more... then he just started laughing at me... but, I think it's the perfect phrase :)