I’m writing to you from Seattle, WA, where I am currently sitting amongst a pile of clothing, sunscreen, bug spray, and suitcases. For those of you who I have not mentioned this to, I will be in Kisumu, Kenya for the next six weeks, attending a summer program through Harvard University. The official course is titled, “Innovations, Technologies, and Health Transformation in Africa”, and the link to the program’s website can be found here.
Essentially, the goal of this program is to explore what it means to take an identified healthcare problem and develop a sustainable and scalable solution. We will be identifying problem areas in local healthcare and will use case-based approaches to problem characterization, solution generation and refinement, and ultimately test delivery models for healthcare improvement. Our time will be broken up between class lectures and field days, which will be spent working with a chosen NGO in a particular area of healthcare interest.
The most difficult part about this trip right now is deciding what to bring. I have never been to Kenya before–or anywhere in Africa, for that matter–and understanding what I will need on a daily basis is a challenge. So far I have all the essentials: books, bugspray, and a wide variety of medication to combat travel-related illness. I have gotten my immunizations, done preliminary research on Kisumu and Kenyan culture, and, of course, purchased my plane tickets.
Now, however, there is not much left for me to do except enjoy the last few days I have in the United States. And, of course, eat as much American food as I can, for there certainly won’t be much of that for the next six weeks. If you’d like to get in contact with me, you can email me at my Whitman address, firstname.lastname@example.org, or use Facebook. Check back often for new posts!