Mariakani week 4: Wrapping up

Regular readers may remember from last week’s post that Julia got sick last weekend, and that we couldn’t go out during the weekend. Since we had postponed the trip to Gedi, we were super excited to go this weekend. Unfortunately, I got sick this time. I just had generic flu-like symptoms, so of course, I assumed the worst. I guess every traveler has to have a malaria scare at some point. After being tested, and being ensured it was not malaria, I just slept for most of the weekend. Not very exciting, but I enjoyed it. Poor Julia was stuck in Mariakani with nothing to do, however, so she was the one who was really inconvenienced. Everything is better now, although I still sound a bit like I smoke 3 packs a day. At least everyone in the office thinks it’s funny.

In the office, this week has been quiet. Julia and I have been working on our report, so we have been buried in our laptops for most of the week. It’s due on Friday, so it’s high time we get our skates on. The main problem has been finding a working download of SPSS. We just need it for a day, so that Julia, who actually knows statistics, can run all the necessary tests. While writing this, I am trying to download the two week trial version of SPSS for the third time. But as they say, third time’s the charm, so maybe we’ll get lucky. Then, afterwards, we get to write up what our results actually mean. Just looking at the raw data, it looks like the poster had a noticeable effect on the number of condoms taken from the dispensers, but I will let Julia confirm that with her statistics magic.

In our free time, we’ve been doing a lot of arts and crafts. We’ve been making bracelets out of fishing line and Julia is about to finish the paper craft deer. We discovered that the roof of the office is a beautiful place to sit and relax (and the Wi-Fi reaches up there. Bonus!), so we’ve been up there most evenings https://frompharmacy...... We also went shopping, and now I have an assortment of lesos as gifts for my family and a super colorful dress. I’m not sure if our haggling was up to snuff, but we managed to reduce the price on everything by a little, so we felt pretty accomplished.

Tomorrow we are going to a community outreach, and then we are done with the internship. On Friday we need to finalize the report, and then we travel back to Nairobi. Then on Sunday, I fly back to the Netherlands, while Julia stays a few more days with a friend. It is strange to think we are almost done and that it is time to leave. When I arrived in Kenya two months ago, I did not expect time to pass so quickly. After a few days of getting into the rhythm, time started passing incredible quickly. Now, it feels as though we have been here for ages, yet it also still feels like we just got here. I will definitely miss the chapatti, colorful clothing, fruits (I think we single handedly supported the Mariakani mango industry over the past month), and of course all the people at MCDF with whom we have worked over the past month. However, I will not miss the mosquitoes. So I guess there are positives to leaving as well. That being said, I think Julia and I will never forget the magnificent experience we have had, or all the wonderful people we have come in contact with. Hopefully we will come back, but first, I have another year of university to look forward to.