Ping (zestyping) wrote,


For lunch at the Blue York, I got to try matoke (essentially mashed plantains), the yellow stuff on the left. It's especially good with the peanut sauce, which was not quite like the peanut sauce you would find at a Thai restaurant; this had more of the flavour of raw peanuts. The little pile of greens next to the matoke is sukuma wiki (sautéed kale). On the right is the vegetable curry I got to go with my matoke. Matoke is very heavy and very filling (even more filling with the peanut sauce), and you always get a huge mound of it.

After lunch we went to visit IPA (Innovations for Poverty Action). They do a lot of different research projects, including studies of HIV prevention, deworming, and water chlorination.

Those blue boxes with the cute white hats in front of the building are their chlorine dispensers. They've been an amazingly simple and effective project. Although WaterGuard (dilute chlorine) is available at the store, most people don't bother to buy it and put it in their drinking water. When IPA installed chlorine dispensers right next to water sources, the use of chlorinated water shot up from below 15% to over 50%, and that figure is continuing to rise. Communities with the dispensers have seen a dramatic fall in water-borne diseases, particularly diarrhea in children.

Jeff, our host at IPA, took us out to see the water source at a nearby school. The children all wore bright blue uniforms and were pretty curious about us when we arrived.

This is the shallow well where most families within a kilometre or so of the school get their water. Fridays are washing days, so the kids were tossing a bucket into the well, hauling it up on a rope, and using the water to mop the classrooms.

In the center of the photo is the chlorine dispenser that IPA had installed next to the well. This is one of their older models, with a triangular shade. Although people often chlorinate the water that they carry home for drinking, the children still sometimes drink water directly from the well, which isn't safe. You can see the orange cup that they leave nearby.

Jeff got a picture of Mike, Julie, myself, and Bukeke (the IPA field officer) with the schoolchildren.

Messages about HIV were painted in many places around the school.

Here's another.

This was a startling sign to see in the middle of a school playground.
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