5 Things That Happened

5 Things That Happened


Marlene got malaria (and we got a bug zapper racket)

Based on my own observations, expats in Africa are divided into two camps: first the “I’ve never had malaria and I can’t believe you have – surely you aren’t very careful!” group and the “I get malaria every two weeks and can’t figure out what to do about it” group. I’m not actually sure it’s possible to do anything about it (or anything more than we’re doing), but I’m hoping we end up somewhere in the middle, since now that we’ve both had malaria I would really like to avoid the experience again! There are no pictures of this particular adventure, since waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat as though someone had poured a bucket of water on you is not the kind of thing you want photographic evidence of. We always do our best to keep the mosquitos away, but this past week we finally managed to get our hands on a bug zapper, and hunting down all the mosquitos in our apartment has become a nightly ritual. I would also like to know why our treated mosquito net seems to kill every bug that lands on it except mosquitos. Thank goodness I was able to kill the mosquito that found its way into our net the other night… by nearly swallowing it.

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Way too excited.

photo 4The imprint on our wall of the mosquito that I am convinced gave me malaria. About two weeks before I got sick, I fell asleep outside the mosquito net. I woke up to Tim smashing this mosquito, full of my blood, against the wall. It had been biting my eyelid, which was really itchy and annoying. Then I got malaria. Is this blood splatter a little TMI? Oh well.

4WD up Mt Elgon


Easily some of the most fun we’ve had in Kenya, our fun maximized by sharing it with Anne and Cameron when they came all the way out to Western Kenya to visit! Rocketing our way through the jungle, pausing to climb through caves and around waterfalls… the far out there corners of Kenya at their best. I was only slightly nervous about getting Marburg from this cave, but so far so good! (More coming soon from the epic adventures we took with Anne, Cameron, Madison, and Nate!)


We started to actually enjoy ugali

At lunch the other day I ordered a large portion of ugali and couldn’t stop eating. I’m sure that my enjoyment had something to do with the amazing pile of nyama choma we also had, but it looks like we are finally integrating into the local culture if we are learning to love this stuff. Also, I can highly recommend a little place in Ekero for the best nyama choma in Western Kenya.

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My fear of snakes was confirmed


My number one irrational and over the top fear here is SNAKES. I am way more afraid of them than things I should be more scared of. However for some reason seeing this on safari – when you’re supposed to see wild and crazy animals – was just awesome. But let’s keep the snakes out there.



Yes, Tim actually took these pictures.

We played with animal poop

Our awesome friend Angela is here visiting! She is working on a study that involves testing animal feces. Since we’re really familiar with all things poop in our lab, we were happy to help out. So we’re in for some exciting field work collecting animal feces while everyone gives us funny looks. Crazy white people collecting animal poop!

photo 5So that’s a quick update about what’s been happening here! But that’s not everything, so more posts and pictures to come soon!




Recently we have been enjoying playing football (soccer) with our colleagues after work as often as possible. Our project has two offices, so we decided to turn our practices into preparation for a face off in competition with the Bungoma team for the WASH B cup! Hands in, everyone!


Since we had a few people leaving the project and we were supposed to do a team building event soon anyway, we turned the competition into a big party, complete with four goats. It’s not a party in Kenya without a goat! The day before the party the goats were running through our meeting, threatening to knock over the projector. It seems almost impossible to keep live animals out of our office here. We tried not to get too attached to the goats however… because the next day we ate them. But first, football.


I shouldn’t have to tell you that the Kakamega office (obviously) won the game!


The competition was fierce, but I think it’s possible that the group singing and cheering on the sidelines were more sweaty and exhausted by the end of the game than the players.



We awarded ourselves the football cup, but we also took the opportunity to recognize some of our staff for their excellent work. It was nice to take the opportunity to celebrate people who contribute as such valuable members of the team!


The amount of food was absurd, and we all ate pilau, stew, ugali, cabbage, sukuma wiki and nyama choma until we couldn’t eat any more.


I guess if you’re a meat eater you should know where your food comes from, and despite having met the goat I was blown away by Moragia’s ability to grill some amazing nyama choma (with Osborn’s help of course!).


It was really nice to spend a fun day with all our staff eating great food and kicking around the soccer ball. The football games continue, and today we even went to a Kenya Premier League game to watch our local team, the Homeboyz, face off against KCB. So the football and the fun are far from over! Karibu any time.