Month 5

Remember remember the loss of November, a terribly unproductive month. This is from the magic flu I had for 3 weeks. Magic flu you ask?

Well, it started on my birthday, which thankfully didn’t ruin the day, but it progressed over the week…from sore throat, to hoarse cough, it was horrible. Then toward the end of the second week I was feeling better, cough more mild, and I didn’t feel so fatigued. This lasted 2 days. At the end of the second day I started feeling funny, and by midnight I had a fever of 100.5, which escalated to 101.5 by 3 am, and didn’t fall below 99, climbing to 102.5 at one point, for 24 hours. No. I did NOT have malaria.

I finally had to call medical and they put me on antibiotics, but after 2 days of not eating, the antibiotics made my stomach hurt, go figure. Now 48 hours into the worst of a 3 week affair, the fever was gone, replaced by a stomach ache, nursed by bland food and staying in bed. I think over 2 weeks I covered nearly every symptom of discomfort and nearing the end of the month, I am finally starting to feel better and only a few stray enemies are fighting with my immune system, but I am otherwise functioning again. This is good news with training around the corner. First illness in Kenya, what a doozy.

But it is not to be forgotten! November is the start of the holiday season, a time to eat copious amounts of food, surround yourself with friends and family, and give thanks. This year is extra special because Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving and I planned a scrumptious JewGiving celebrating both traditions, and using traditional foods in Kenya. The menu consisted of roasted duck, brisket, mashed potato latkes, greens and fried onions, squash and carrot kugel(w/ricotta), challah rolls, herb stuffing with corn, and apple pie sufganiyot. The drink menu consisted of red wine and spiced apple cider(apple juice and stoney). It was a successful meal, a couple of recipes I want to tweak if made again, but mostly due to cooking logistics in Kenya, I’d get better results from my American kitchen. A few PCVs joined me for the celebration, and it was a good day.

Some work updates.. Young Farmers crops are ready for harvesting at the food hub and we planted two plots at the orphanage! The progress of thee sesame plot and beautification of the food hub is under way, and plans are being made for a rabbit rearing addition. The Nyakasumbi library is getting 1,000 new library books thanks to the approval of a grant I applied for. Finally, The oil crops extension is in full swing, with many farmers already preparing for the long rains, and our beekeeper network is growing. Some projects planned for after IST, a moonlight VCT at the university, bed net distribution at the orphanage, grant application for Young Farmers, and water tank distribution at a couple of the schools. Hopefully the oil crop farmers and beekeepers have success for their IGAs with Grow Strong in the new year, we are really pushing for better harvest in the long rain and more training and upkeep with the beehives for a honey harvest. I also gave a few seminars for the nutrition anthropology class at the university. So even being sick for half the month, I did something.

So…5 months already. I can’t believe it. 22 months to go.


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