We’re in Ghana because Jessy’s job is to serve as a security advisor for Peace Corps’ coastal West African countries (namely, Cameroon, Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Sierra Leone for now). So why did she end up traveling to Kenya? Well, part of her training for this new job was to go to Kenya with a team for an assessment. Back to the the left side of the road, back to high altitudes, and back to cooler weather…here are some sights from the first week in Nairobi.
(left top to bottom, right top to bottom) Sunrise in Nairobi from the hotel, the first meeting with the Peace Corps assessment team, an end-of-day meeting with the assessment, a group picture from the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer dinner, the Memorial Garden at the site of the April 7, 1998 bombing of the US Embassy, and the memorial wall at this site:
After the first week of meetings, the team drove west towards Kisumu and stopped in Bomet along the way…passing through the Rift Valley and then into the hills of tea fields. Bomet was an overnight stop in order to assess whether there is viable Peace Corps work near this town. The team met host country nationals who worked with former volunteers at health clinics, libraries, and then there was the obligatory stop at the police station.
Here are some sights from the side of the road on the drive and the hotel and police station in Bomet:
And then for the favorite pics…kids! Oh and some places where Peace Corps Volunteers used to work and could continue once the Kenya program is re-opened. BTW…the selfies of the kiddos is what happens when you give a phone to kids! OH…and the kid in the snow suit and boots? Yeah, that happened.
After Bomet, the team passed through the Kenyan Medical Research Institute/Walter Reed Project Clinical Research Center (a US government facility) and then ended the road trip in Kisumu. The Center for Disease Control and Walter Reed have offices in Kisumu and this is the location where the Peace Corps team assessed whether the future Peace Corps office could open (TBD once reviewed and approved on the Hill).
Below, from left top to bottom/right top to bottom, a painting in the Walter Reed facility in Kericho, the assessment group with the governor of Kisumu (Prof. Anyang Nyong’o…otherwise known as Lupita Nyong’o’s DAD!!!!! OMG!!!!), a school for the hearing impaired (created through funds raised by a Peace Corps Volunteer of past!), the security team with the commander of the Kenyan Police Services of Kisumu (he has a PhD in PEACE STUDIES….how appropriate is that!?!), and the assessment crew at a potential training center.
Then finally, between LOOOOONNNNGGGGG days of driving and meeting with people, the team had a chance for good [work] lunches, relaxing [not work] dinners and beautiful sights.
Left to right: first night in Kisumu grilled meats, a fish selection at Lake Victoria, the lake where the hyacinth has moved in to make is look like a field, picking out a fish at Lake Victoria, roadside lunch outside a hospital (after the docs assessed the facilities), sunset at Lake Victoria, group dinner on the lake, last group dinner…documenting the very first taste of sushi by the guys closest to the camera!
The assessment went well, lots of people were met and contributed to the report, now we just wait to see if it’ll be approved for re-opening!