A Boston Journalist Visits East Africa, Part 3
September 8, 2012
A Boston Journalist Visits East Africa, Part 5
September 8, 2012
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A Boston Journalist Visits East Africa, Part 4

We arrived at the Huma School near Kisumu in western Kenya late in the day, but managed to sit down for a lengthy interview with its principal and also met with the 20 girls at the school who are sponsored by GTL. A highlight for the girls was when Richard Jenson, now GTL’s president, talked to them about his hobby of beekeeping.

After our visit, we drove to our nearby hotel and checked in. Compared to this hotel, Parklands Sports Club was the Ritz. When I asked the desk clerk if the hotel had wi-fi, she just looked through me. She didn’t know what I was talking about. The room was bare bones, a mosquito net hanging over the bed. An interesting note: when we were checking in and filling out the registration cards, I couldn’t remember the date due to all the time changes and exhaustion. It turned out it was Sept. 11 — the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Not one of us in the group had even been aware of that fact. Nobody in Kenya was talking about it. And of course nobody had been on line or in contact with the outside world, so it had escaped our minds. I’m told the anniversary was quite a big deal back home.

In the morning, we drove off to the Sega School, where we met regional coordinator Godfrey Okello. A blind man with a great sense of humor, he was a joy to be around and his concern for the girls was obvious. The school seemed top-notch and the girls we met seemed happy. GTL also has 20 girls at Sega. As with all the schools, the girls said they needed supplies. Books are also in short supply at most of the schools and the girls generally have to share them. We also learned that most of the girls were infected with malaria, but that the illness is managed and not considered a big issue. That was a bit of an eye-opener. By the way, I took malaria pills every day, but it turned out to be unnecessary. I didn’t see one mosquito during the entire trip. After the night in Kisumu, I didn’t use any mosquito nets while sleeping.

Following our visit, we headed for the Ugandan border.

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