Canadians fight the Kenyan cold

by Madi Brauer

Illness has struck the intern home last week, as Ashley came down with a bad cold and was bed ridden for a day. The next to catch the cold was Hannah, who spent many days coughing and sniffling at home interviews and school assessments/seminars. I personally thought I had dodged this bullet, as many days passed after the two girls fell ill, and I still felt fine. I was wrong!

After our long drive to and from Nkando primary school for the assessment, I developed all of the classical symptoms of a cold. I believe the dusty dirt roads were a catalyst to my chest congestion that quickly formed that evening.  I required one and one-half days of bed rest, leaving Hannah and Sarah to conduct a school seminar without me, before I regained my strength. Ashley, Hannah and I are all now on the mend, each of us only sniffling and coughing a few times a day. We were hopeful that the worst was over, and that this Kenyan bug had left the household for good. That is—until Sarah lost her voice!

As I sit here now writing this blog post, Sarah sits next to me sipping “dawa” (ginger, garlic and lemon tea) unable to speak due to the congestion in her throat, Ashley and Hannah leave the room periodically to cough and sniffle while they sit, and Lee sits working on his laptop, perfectly healthy. We are all waiting for this cold to take its next victim; will it be Lee or Remmie?

Despite the irritating cold symptoms, we are all in good spirits and enjoying Kenya and all of its experiences. On Sunday, we took a trip to the Lewa conservancy with Salome, an employee of Farmers Helping Farmers and hiked to an amazing waterfall.

waterfall photo

From L-R: Salome (Farmers Helping Farmers), Lee (vet team), Madi (nutrition team), Remy (vet team support), Hannah (nutrition team), Ashley (vet team), Sarah (nutrition team support)

Half of the group nearly ‘hacked up a lung’ from all of the hill climbing, but we all had an amazing time and got to hear an elephant far off in the distance trumpet; an experience Ashley and I crossed off of our bucket list!

This Kenyan cold cannot keep these Canadians down!

Madison Brauer


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