Sunday, April 24, 2011

Purely for Children

Jane Merisho is amazing. She has quite the life story. She married Eric when she was 2o something and they have been very in love for the whole time. Something that I find rare around the community that I am residing in. They met at church and have been in love ever since. Two children later they are on their third child. Jane is due in August. How amazing is this. She is thirty eighty years old. Church is her other place besides school. Prayer is important in her life and you can see her praying at 1 am, 3 am etc. You may think this is rediculous, but it is something she likes and I will defend her as though she is my family. Gold is color of her heart. Out of her way is what she does endlessly for these children. Recently we had a mother come to the house in panic as her drunk husband threatened to beat her. Jane sat her down, talked to her, and gave her a bed to sleep in. She is selfless everyday.

Recently we have been doing Tusion, which is extra curricular academics. It is revision of exams. Jane is doing this for no money. How great is that? This is what she told me today "Rosie,, Im doing this for free. I have children who haven't payed since last year and I won't kick them out of this school. I can't. I'm doing this for the children. I don't care about the money. I don't need the money."

The experiences here are rich for me. Please note this might be a place I express myself. Not just a blog, so if you don't mind my thoughts, then keep reading.

If anything I've learned that it's important to have some humor when your traveling. Kenyans laugh at everything. OK, maybe not everything. But, it's easy for me to get hurt. You literally say in your head "What the hell am I doing here." When they laugh it is mostly rediculous. Things that we'd probably find offensive. Or there laughing get;s annoying. But, really this is a fascinating culture. It is common to have a few crappy days here and there.

Ewagan means light in the local language. I work at the Ewagan Junior School. This means that kids come to the light for knowledge.

Simmie my mom's friend is amazing. I just met her for dinner and it's nice to see an american after weeks of just me. Her daughter Cary and her are doing amazing things. Selfless as well. They are strong people. We had dinner at whistling thorns.

After seeing africa I know that I need to make small changes somewhere. Shall I sit on it for a while? Is it bad to start thinking about helping so early? I think that I already have. Ghana, India, Kenya.

It is easy to make friends. I have life friends: Jane, Sweetie (my doctor), my doctors patient Jayashree. They will always be in my heart.

The Swahili I know:

Nacupenda: I love you, something I say to my grandmothers here everyday.

Suba: How are you?

Eba? Fine

Abadiaco: How are you?

Mazurey: Fine, thank you.

We had the kids make thank you letters for friends that have donated supplies for the school.

I'm inspired my being here. I'm wanting to keep doing help for places in Africa. But how?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Kenya is amazing. I can't really tell you otherwise. Although, some things can be frustrating. For example when a kids mother comes and says that her husband might drunk beat her that is bad. It is a bad thing. MOthers don't deserve beatings. Around where we live there is a bar. I think that this bar creates lots of problems.

Animal Orphanage:

On thursday I took the Pre-Unit and Class 1 students to the animal orphanage in Rangata. We hired a matato to take us there. Lots of students piling on top each other. Squished, african style transport. We were supposed to leave around 9 am, but everything runs slower here so we left later. The kids all wore their uniforms, Tr. Jane believed that it would help with a discount, its good so we can tell where all our school children are. We had some sick children on the way to the orphanage. So of these kids never go in transport and mainly stay around where they live. So carsick kids was interensting. The kids sang songs on the way. We stopped in Kiserian on the way to the animal orphanage to get some chips (french fries) for the kids. I also ran with a boy to the grocery store to buy some soda, juice. We then loaded back into the car and went to the animal orhanage. On the way we saw monkeys on the side of the road and all you could hear was a car full of laughter. It was pleasant to see some of these children laughing, getting outside of their normal zone. Nairobi Animal Orphanage was not crowded and charged me much more then the Kenya Citizen Price. The kids were thrilled to see the animals and had big smiles when we saw the monkeys climbing on the side of the cage. Birds, monkeys, lions sleeping, cheetahs, leopard, ostrich were in the animal orphanage. Wild monkeys that weren't part of the animal orphanage were also present. I put a banana out for the monkeys right near the leopard cage and the monkey came and the leopard lunged inside his cage for the monkey.

We enjoyed the animal orphanage a lot and then had lunch on the lawn. Chips (french fries), juice and sweets, biscuits. They said a prayer for the food. "Some had food, but no appetite. Some have appetite but no food. We thank you god for the both. Amen."

Then we went to the giraffe center. Which, was by far my favorite. I got kissed by a giraffe. Pictures to come. Internet is insanely slow. Kids loved feeding the giraffe. Did you know the giraffes could be such friendly animals?

So I'm having a hard time debating whether to leave Kenya or not on April 27th? I have to say it's lonely out here. But, I keep praising myself at how far I've come. Almost 3 months. I don't want to let anyone down. But I have do what my heart tells me. Sometimes it's hard to be alone. I'm 18 years old. Traveling alone. It's nerve racking sometimes. And it's hard to admit this, but sometimes i miss my life at home. You know you want to be strong and not crack. But sometimes you need to let yourself be weak. But it's good to be strong, not give in to the pain of missing home. Throw yourself into what your doing. Then again there is a balance of both.

I think it is a difficult life here for women. The un-educated women don't have a say. Well it really depends on the situation. I can't believe some of the womens stories. Jane the women i live with is amazing. She is willing to hear peoples stories and guide them with a good solution. She is incredibly sweet, and willing to help a lost soul.

I have made many trips to the Kiserian market...where they sell lots of vegetables....

Friday, April 15, 2011


I love Africa. There is so much to the life here. So much color, so much zazaaammm. The women are amazing. Maternal. Loving. Child bearing. Bearing lots of children just to bring on the tradition. Doesn't that take a lot of bravery. Did you know the Messai are poligamists? The Grandfather GoGoya that lives here in the comp0und married three women and had 8 children with each wife. I asked his son today if he fell in love with these women. He didn't. He married them by giving money for them. He is 98 years old. An amazing man. 98? Yes, I'm telling the truth. How can there be a forced love? How can you be forced to love someone? No love, partnership, it is to keep the society moving. To keep things moving steady. The children born to farm, many wifes to help in the garden.

Life is amazing.

When you greet a mesai elder you bow your head and the mesai pets your head.

more to come later.....

Monday, April 4, 2011

Did you know that Nacupenda means I love you in swahili? Or that Abadiaco means how are you? mazurey is I'm fine. I find myself saying Nacupenda to my Nennay (grandmother) a lot here in Kenya. Not only is she so lovable but well she is loved by everyone. Kenya is amazing. It is traditional. The massai are an amazing tribe- tall, brilliant, proud. Speaking massai. Pure african hospitality. It sounds like a commercial but it's not. It's reality. I'm so proud to say I can be here.

School here:

Gracious + Kind children. Of course can not all speak english but still waving to say hello or thank you when I bring them sweets.

Some children can not afford to come to school so are not schooling. Sad.

Some children are from the tribe Kwkuyu and some Massai.

Each child has a different personality.

About Kenya:

People are generally kind.

Where I am it is literally rolling hills.

Farming land. Most people are farmers where I am living.

HIV seems to not be talked about.

People are curious about my life.

Most people have not heard of VT. But more major states NY, Washington D.C.

Kenyans love Obama. He is 1/2 Kenyan.

Food is Ugali. Made out of corn and with some water then turns hard and you eat it with beans or veggies.

Matato is the means of transporation.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hello again,

There is no excuse for why I haven't been using the internet and why I haven't been on the computer. Except, a very slow internet. I miss VT internet.

Let me recap:

Since I have last spoken to you I have been to Pondicherry for 4 days. It was brilliant.It was nice to get away from madurai for a few days. I love Madurai. Actually, not love-like. India and I have a love/hate relationship. More like Love/Not like. One thing I can't stand is getting ripped off. As in the rickshaw drivers charge an unfair price. Sometimes there is yelling, the rickshaw driver will curse in tamil and of course I don't know what they are saying. This is all not all rickshaw drivers.

Another thing that bothers me is the driving. Or more the roads. There are speed bumps.

Okay, for a more positive note.

We (a swedish girl) named Hannah and I went to Pondicherry which is still in the Indian state Tamil Nadu. Last thursday we took an overnight bus to Pondicherry. It was a bumpy ride. But, I was able to make small talk with a man on the bunk below mine. The bus's bed was comfortable but the ride not. We'd go over bumps and well sleeping like that is hard.

Upon arrival we got a rickshaw to find a hotel. I had purposefully booked rooms in two hotels to make sure that the beds were sleepable (is that a word?) So, we first turned up at the Ganga Guest house to see it. There were not lights on so we knocked and waited a minute or so. A man came out looking very sleepy and we asked to see our room. It was nice except the beds were hard. So, we headed to the next place to see that room. The Santhi Inn. Upon arriving there and walking in Hannah and I both frowned at the smell. People were able to smoke in the hotel. When we got to our room it was okay. Not to bad. You have to be willing to pay more money for the hotels out of the guidebook. We payed r's 1000 for each night.

We then took a rest. Going without a night of sleep in India is harder then it seems. So, we slept then went to a cafe called Le Cafe. It was a sweet french cafe. A very good continental breakfast was served to us with eggs, toast, fruit salad, and tea/coffee. It made me miss western food.

After a full stomach...

We took a autorickshaw to Auroville.
Auroville is an interesting place. A bit cult like. I don't want to sound judgemental. But, it is. We looked around a bit. Spent an hour trying on clothes. Hannah, made a couple purchases and later I purchased a shirt. It is blue. Indian style.

There are many different things that I have witnessed in India:

1) I have met some of the friendliest people. Some of the sisters (nurses) are incredible people. Although, some of the medical habits aren't there best they care about me.

2) Some Indians have a different perception about white people then we do. Many rickshaw drivers will think I am rich, overcharge me.

So, sometimes you just have to get cheated (which sucks) and go on with life. Today I stood arguing with a rickshaw driver for 10 minutes about a price. I wish there was a better perception of white people.

4)Saturday morning was interesting. I called the doctor. She said rush to the hospital and see a birth happening. So, I got ready fast. Turned up the hospital she then turned up when the head was almost coming out. India is different. I held the mothers hand for what seemed like 1-2 hours. The mother delivering her third child kept saying "I can't do it". I had to remind her that she had done it before and that if she lived once through giving birth, she could do it again. Today the mother told me "Thank you for life" I felt incredibly good and like I had done something amazing. Although my part was minor I was there the whole time during the birth. I Was there to support her when her husband wasn't.

Husbands aren't allowed in the delivery room. They aren't there. When she was in labor her mother was there.

It seems like sometimes a women's job is to only be a mother. I feel so fortunate to be able to go to college, have a voice, and be equal with men. Here women aren't equal. I asked someone if women would ever be equal. She said "never." In a way it was sad to hear. But, yet again we in America are a little farther along when it come to sexes having equal rights.

5) India is all about tradition. The Sari has been around for well I believe hundreds of years. It is worn on the left side in the south of India. It is also worn on the right in the north part of India. A sari is a peice of clothe worn with an under skirt and blouse. The Sari seems to be a big peice of womanhood in India.

When a women comes wanting more children, there is still hope for more children. This is a country that underwent a Tsunami. My doctor is well educated and can help women of 45 concieve children. She helped a women of 45 have a baby, the baby is now 1 year and the women age 46.This shows that women do not give up hope to have children at a later age and that in a developing country a miracle baby can happen. So, there should not be any judgement on India's fertility research and gynecologists skills. Although there are some practices I don't personally agree with and may not be the cleanest, the doctors are still very knowledagable. They have a brilliant knowledge here.

India is an incredibly hospitable country. There is one frustration I always have and that is the language barrier. Not many Indians know english. It seems as thought the ones that have learned english in primary school or have been taught in english know english now.

Yesterday 3/9 I visited the Argulam HIV Hospice. It was an incredible place helping HIV positive children (20 of them) still have a life and get free treatment. There were 10 girls and 10 boys. The children have a very positive surrounding. They are not so secluded from the rest of the world. They still attend regular school with children that aren't HIV positive and aren't frowned upon.

They enjoyed the attention that we gave them. One girl came up to me and said "Aunty sing a song to me." I responded "Aunty?" She then replied "Sister, please sing a song". So, I sang twinkle twinkle and she shortly joined in. Her hands were in mine and there was a thought in my head: "We should all be equal. It doesn't matter whether if we have HIV or not every human being should be equal." I think it'd be nice if the world came to an understanding of what HIV people are going through. It's not these childrens fault that they have HIV.

I also learned that there are 30 million people suffering with HIV in India. I'm blown away by this statistic.

I'm still figuring out what my next plans are. Either I will be in Kenya or Ghana. Just waiting on the word. I was supposed to go to Ghana for the whole time, I then contacted my mother's friend and she said that maybe I will be working at a school there.

I am going to Kenya

That's all for now. Greetings of peace from India,


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

dinner with Sweetie

Hello all,

I had dinner with the doctor I work with tonight. Doctor Jayashree Jane Sweetie. She is a homeopathic doctor. She sent a rickshaw with her to get me. I stood outside reliance fresh and waited. We entered her home and on arrival were greeted by two dogs richie and kootie. Richie can bite and she quickly grabbed the dog's collar to protect me from getting bitten. Her mother a very nice women, who teaches politics in an after high school school was very nice and understood only some of my english. Her home two floors, the living room decorated in a greenish color, but very pleasant. She showed me the wedding album of her brother and the engagement album of her and her fiance. She is having an arranged marriage to an engineer in Chennai, India that spent two years in New York City. She say's she is in love and loves the man. I think this is very nice to hear. I wonder how can she be in love if it is arranged. But, here in India arranged marriages work. You are forced to try your best and hope that it will work. She loves the man and they will marry in June. I have been invited to the wedding but of course I will be gone. Darn. I so wanted to attend the wedding. Not only do I have respect for her, but she has also become a good friend and I feel as though her family is my indian family. Her brother has married to a woman and they are expecting a baby in three months. It was a very nice of chippati and pearota. Chippati is like a grain tortilla. Perota is a sweet flat, small bread. With lamb stew, califlower and vegetables. They were very nice bringing the dinner to the table. You can't find such hospitality in the western world. India tops it. We talked about when I will get married and I had to persuade the doctor that I need to wait ten years.She says it is old. I think happiness is most important.

Arranged marriage

The arranged marriage is common in India. It has become less conservative in India.The man/women to be married gets to see pictures. Sometimes even talk/meet the person before the day of marriage. My host parents are arranged marriage. Divorce is not common here. In the western world is is.

It is so interesting that a couple weeks ago I felt like living early. But, now I think I am falling in love with this country. I cannot imagine leaving. But, my travels will take me to Kenya.I will meet a teacher there and work at her school. There are 75 children there. I might also work at an orphanage.

Sunday, February 20, 2011



This weekend I traveled to Thekkady with projects abroad. On friday I went to the bus station and met the projects abroad group. It was hectic and there were lots of people around. There were lots of buses and commotion.

Our hotel was okay. A bit pricey at $1,058 rupees per night. The food was okay. All in all I think this weekend was a bit $$$$###.

We did get to ride an elephant. Our elephants name was Shaunta Kumari and was 35 years old. I found it great. We got to stop and take pictures.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


At times I find it very hard here. There is an immense cultural difference. Sometimes I find this culture very hard to understand. To me there are things that are very bizarre. The stares I get as I\if I am an alien are kind of hard to cope with. The men are mesmorized by every move, but I have gotten good at ignoring them. It is a more curious stare.

At times I wonder what I am doing here and am I getting what I expected.

The other day I got flowers put into my hair by a local women. Jasmine. It was nice.

This weekend my friends Anna and Elisabeth from Denmark came from 4 hours away and I spent most of the weekend with them. We went to a local coffee shop called Coffee day today...see above picture.

Next weekend we will travel to Thekkady.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Nimmy and I
Projects Abroad Trip to KanyaKumari

One of my roomates Malin and I


It has been a while and I apologize.

It has been a hard week. This week we lost a baby at the hospital and I have never really encountered death at the hospital.

It is quite an awful feeling loosing a patient. The patient is not even my patient. So, I can't even imagine how the doctor feels.

The hospital is amazing. Although, it has been a bit boring this week. Not much to do. I've been feeling like switching hospitals again. But, I'm not so sure.

I can say I saw diagonostic laproscopy and abdominal hyserectomy this week. It was quite interesting. During the laproscopy they first anethesized the patient and then did the laproscopy. Which I believe is to diagnose fertility. During the hyserectomy they removed the uterus. It was quite interesting to see. I felt a bit woozy so I saw myself stepping back sometimes.

My housemates are good and are pretty nice. Sometimes I feel myself wanting to disagree with them but I am very good at containing myself. I only see now how open americans are.

Monday, January 31, 2011


Today I have moved to a new hospital. The other one just wasn't right. The one that I am at now is great. They have given my roommate Priythiani and I a room to lock our stuff in. The offered me an accommodation. But, I will just stay at my host family's house that I am at now.

This afternoon I will be seeing a C-Section. I am excited. This morning we saw women s exams. It was cool and the doctor is really good.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


traditional indian flowers

at the temple
blessed by an elephant


Sunday, January 23, 2011


Hello from Brussels,
I have made it here okay.

I met a women on the plane named Jay. She is also traveling to India and is very nice. When I get to Chennai I will stay in a hotel for the night. Then wake up and go to Madurai.

Will update you from there.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tomorrow Yipee!!!

Tomorrow I leave. Right now I am just finishing packing. I am excited. I have been packing lots, as I will be gone for a while. I enjoyed a last dinner out with my family. Now, I am ready. Yesterday I finished school. It feels pretty good to be done. There is this feeling of emptyness. It is a scared feeling. I guess you've just go to go with it.

Toilet Paper:
Apparently it is hard to buy toilet paper there. So, I have bought five rolls.

Last night I met a girl named Catherine who goes to UVM. She also has been to Ghana. She worked at New Life International as well. She was very excited to hear that I was going back.

We also talked about some stuff I could teach at New Life. And, I might teach more on health.

I will be picked up at the airport by a projects abroad person.

I've never been to asia so I am so excited.

Well, goodbye for now. I will update y'all when I get there.


India here I come!!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Almost there....

I am packing...there is lots still to be done. It is a big process. You have to figure out what you have to bring. How many pairs of socks do you pack? Do I even need socks for India? You ask yourself silly little questions.

BUT- I am ready.

It's been a hectic week. Completing exams and trying to pack. There is a bright thing at the end of the week and that is leaving for India on Sunday. I will miss my family. I am ready to start this new adventure.

I can understand that these posts have been probably quite boring. So give me a chance to jazz it up a bit.

I will be working in the maternity department of the Meenakshi Mission Hospital. I am excited. I will get to wear scrubs and watch surgeries.


I will be living with a local family. I'm not sure if they know english. But, it'll work.

I will travel every other weekend with the group. I think this will be nice to meet some other western volunteers.

Flight plan:


I think that southern India is primarily Vegetarian. That is good.

I will update you when I arrive there.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Skype with Nimmy

I have talked with Nimmy in India. She is the medical coordinator for projects abroad in Madurai. She is so nice and I can't wait to work with her.

I've realized that my life has become a lot more global then before I went to Ghana.

There are many positive things that travel has done for me.

I'm think of going into nursing. I'm think that this might be a good move. To become a traveling nurse. My profession choice changes a lot. It changes like the weather. There is not clear idea. But, I'm hopeing that India will help me discover this.

According to Wikipedia Madurai is one of the oldest continuously inhabited citities in the Indian penisula.

A map of India:

Monday, January 3, 2011

And away we go again

There are many things to be done before my trip to India! Like packing, finish school and complete my exams. I just recently got back from St. John with my family and I realized I love to travel.
1) Traveling gets you to meet other people
2) Traveling gets you to see other culture.
3) Traveling gets you to open your mind.
4) Traveling changes your perspective.
5) Traveling influences your persepective on where you want to live.

I like lists.

* * * * * * *

In India I will be staying with a family with a 10 year old, and a 4 year old. I love children so I cannot wait. I'm hoping that I will have lots of luck with the family, like Comfort's in Ghana.

Is India conservative?

In the US women are free to show some chest, arms, leg. When I went to Ghana for the first time I thought that it was going to be very conservative. I was proved wrong. It is more so liberal then I though it would be, with dress. But, women still cover up. While on vacation I wore a bikini. Which I am guessing will be deemed unacceptable in India. I'd rather not cause lots of attention. I'm looking forward to wearing the Indian Sari. I hope to buy some clothes there to wear to work.

So there are not many days left here in the US. I will be gone for a while.