We had appointments today at 3 different schools to discuss the study plans with the respective head teachers. One head teacher from a very well-run secondary school said to me after initially looking at our forms and questionnaire,
â€œMadame, I have looked at your questionnaire, and it is very good. However, a study like this takes planning; you can not just gate crash. I would need some time to schedule when the students can take this questionnaire.â€
And this is when I was very happy to report to him that we actually were not gate crashing and expecting to distribute the questionnaires. We had scheduled the meeting with him to seek his approval about the protocol of the study. He was very pleased to hear this. We then went on to make lovely plans to distribute the questionnaires next week, and we talked a good bit further about the importance of such studies and the useful findings that ours would yield for his school.
We get a heck of a lot more done in the dry season. Our past three trips here have been in May or June which are the rainy season months. Things are canceled when it rains, roads flood, you can lose your shoes in the mud it gets so deep in Kwale. Itâ€™s also really humid in those months. This January business is â€œmuch more betterâ€ (people say that here a lot). Itâ€™s hot, but itâ€™s dry. There are less mosquitoes. There are more people in Diani, but not enough that it feels touristy. Itâ€™s justÂ enough that all the restaurants are open and serving enough food daily that you can rest assured the products are fresh.
On the topic of fresh food, I love the madafu (green coconut for drinking and eating) . If you have been reading collininlindsayinkenya.blogspot.com, then you know that Collin climbed a 40 foot coconut tree to get me a madafu. I also love the pineapple and bananas here. They taste so much more flavorful then the ones I get at home. I donâ€™t miss any American food yet, but I think that would take a very long time for me with all these fresh vegetarian options within reach here.
Also, you can get pretty much any other food that you can’t find on trees or at local fruit and vegetable stands at the Nakumat. This international-standard level grocery store has so much to offer. They even have Cadbury Dairy Milk bars imported from England. I used to not have access to good chocolate for the whole duration of our stay on the coast, and every month at some point that would cause me to panic a little bit. Diani, Kenya is moving on up in the world.
After our day in the village visiting schools, we had time to swing by our favorite beach here for a couple of hours. It’s so nice that it stays light until 7 or something here. Senya was especially happy today. She continues to be a valuable addition to our research team.