Last-Minute LuckPosted: 24 May, 2011
Those of you who know me are probably aware of my epic procrastination skills. I’ve waited until the last minute to do just about everything in my life, from finishing science homework to applying for graduate school. You could say I like to live life on the edge. You could say I’m crazy.
Either way, in true Katy Mac fashion, I have found a practicum for my MPH at Tulane School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine barely a month before departure date. And man, have I been lucky. After my initial practicum idea fell through, I launched myself into a flurry of internship applications and was fortunate enough to find Randie Marsh and the amazing people of SOTENI International. Ever since my panicked email to Randie regarding my practicum-less situation for the summer, things have progressed at a rapid (and surprisingly smooth) pace. Within 72 hours, fees were paid and flights were booked.
Randie and my fellow interns have been exceptionally accommodating, and I can’t thank them enough for welcoming me so late in the program. I am also incredibly thankful to my parents for their constant support, be it financially or mentally, as they have helped me immensely in securing and preparing for this trip [and any other "trips" that have come up in my 23 years of life]. I can’t emphasize enough just how lucky I feel to have such a supportive and loving family.
So, all due warm fuzzies aside, it’s now time for me to gear up for this trip! I am learning more and more details every day, and I am getting really nervous, scared, and excited for my 8-weeks that I will be spending in the SOTENI Villages of Hope in Kenya. SOTENI is an organization with offices in Cincinnati, OH, and Nairobi, Kenya, that seeks to lead the fight against HIV/AIDS and break the cycle of poverty within the 4 Villages of Hope (Mituntu, Mbakalo, Ugenya, and Kuria). Using an interdependent model, programs within these 4 rural villages provide access to clean water, health services and home-based care, as well as education and empowerment training for community members. My preliminary assignment will place me in SVH-Mbakalo, working within their dispensary and pairing me with a fellow intern in surveying the health needs of the surrounding population for the dispensary’s eventual expansion.
That’s all I know for now. In the meantime, I’ve set up an appointment to get my immunizations done (which I can’t say I’m particularly looking forward to), and I’m contemplating what and how to pack. I should get more information regarding that within the next few days, and I’m sure I’ll post my adventures in packing on here soon.
I’m really excited to be working in an international internship–I feel so out of touch with places that are not as fortunate as the United States. SOTENI International is has been doing great work for almost 10 years now, and I am grateful to be a part of something larger than myself.