The vet students are back in Canada but didn’t want us to miss this post!
Ashley Butt, Jaimee Gillis, & Stephanie Hatayama
AVC Veterinary Students with Farmers Helping Farmers
January 31st, 2018
We have been kept very busy since arriving in Kenya, travelling to various dairies to present educational seminars to local dairy farmers and consulting on sick cattle. In the midst of all that, we did schedule in a ‘Culture Day’, where we were able to visit a local primary school, an orphanage, and a hospital.
Our first stop of the day was at the primary school just across the road from us, called Muruguma Primary School. The children were all very happy and quite excited by our visit to their school! Many of the classes excelled academically, our tour guide (a Standard 6 primary teacher) told us. At the end of our visit, the girls from the older classes got together on the grounds and sang and danced for us (see picture below). It was the perfect end to our little visit!
Next we visited a local children’s orphanage called The Sister Mary Zanelli Children’s Home. It was incredibly lovely, currently housing 38 children ranging from 6 months to 8 years old. They were all very well loved and looked after, and there was a primary school on the premises for the older children (3+ years old) to attend. We were also able to shop at the orphanage’s gift shop, of which all the money spent goes back to the children.
Lastly, we visited a local hospital. It was an impressive hospital, offering many resources including medicine, surgery, dialysis, pediatrics, physiotherapy, and more. It is one of the better equipped hospitals in the rural area. It has a capacity of up to 270 patients, and had been over-capacity recently due to a strike in government hospitals. The medicine wing had just been rebuilt as well, and is due to open in February 2018.
Our culture day was very special; a valuable window to compare and contrast our own experiences at home to the resources available in rural Kenya. We were very grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the Kenyan culture and lifestyle, and to meet the children at both the school and the orphanage. Now it’s back to work tomorrow!