Hello child lifers! I have been – as always – crazy busy and I just realized I hadn’t given you all an update on this most awesome thing that is happening!!
On Wednesday – yes, in 4 days…- I am going BACK TO KENYA!
A while back I was asked by my mentor and now-colleague to journey back to Kenya as a Research Assistant aiding in some child life-related research taking place at the Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital in Eldoret.
In preparation for my upcoming trip there are many things that I have had to tackle.
- Secure time off work
- This was easier than I thought it was going to be because my nanny families are super awesome and supportive. There was no question as to whether they would try to make it work for me, it was just a matter of discussing things with their respective bosses.
- Flights, Visa, and other paperwork
- Luckily, having done this once before, this was the easiest step to date! All of my paperwork is completed, things are paid for, and they are packed away with my passport. Win!
- Donations, donations, donations!
- A few months ago I connected with the More Than Play toy company who makes developmentally appropriate education toys designed to help infants, toddlers, and children to reach developmental milestones. Through this connection they offered to give donations for me to take to the child life team in Kenya! On top of that, I reached out to a local community here to ask for donations for the abandoned babies program. After spending much time in the NICU and baby ward last year I know what kinds of things they are in need of. The outpour of generosity from the community has been incredible and I have so much stuff to bring! Diapers, onesies, shoes, socks, bibs, pants, blankets, oh my!!
- Side Note: I will be writing a product review for the donations of More Than Play toys that I will be bringing for the team, so stay tuned when I return!!
- Ethics course
- In order to act as official Research Assistant for the study taking place in Kenya I had to complete (and pass!) an introductory research ethics course through the Global Health Training Network
- Create presentation
- In addition to assisting with research, I have been asked to give a presentation to the child life team on infant stimulations. I have been doing tons of research on the topic and am super excited to share what I have learned with the staff. And big bonus: my More Than Play donations are the perfect supplement to my presentation and I know the staff are going to LOVE them!
- So far I have packed all of the donations I have received (yes, there are still more to come!). But as I’m sitting here I realized…I HAVEN’T PACKED MYSELF! I have no idea what I’m bringing or how much room I’ll have with all the additional things I’m bringing along. Plus Side 1: this is my second trip so I have a realistic idea of what I should bring. Plus Side 2: I will be returning with nearly-empty suitcases so you know what that means!! More room for souvenirs!!
That’s all folks! I will touch base once we land in Kenya and will try to give regular updates as I did last summer!
I can’t believe that this time last year I was gearing up for an internship and now I am a completely certified child life specialist. Time really does fly and I am so grateful for all of my experiences leading up to this point. I can’t wait for this adventure and am so blessed to be returning to the place I fell in love with last year!
Kenya, here we come!