Focus groups continue to be successful. Yesterday evening I met with a group of secondary students at a private boarding school for girls. It was really fun. The girls were very interested in the discussion, and I got some really valuable feedback that will be helpful for future health interventions.
Earlier in the day yesterday we met with Terry to discuss the current development projects here. We met for several hours and went through our projects detail by detail to get a sense of our goals and expectations for now and the future.
Then today, Saturday, was a free day. After catching up on laundry (we wash it by hand ourselves now to ensure that it smells good according to our definition of good) we went to a place on Diani beach called Forty Thieves. This is a pretty rowdy hang-out place with lots of resident expats, tourists, beach boys, etc. Sometimes Kenyan acrobats practice their moves (for lack of a better term) on the beach here; often there are camel rides offered for a small price (like a couple bucks).
We thought it would be so fun for Senya to go on her first camel ride. We were both sure that she would love it. We even went back and forth about who should get the honor of taking her on the ride:
“You go ahead.” Collin generously offered to me. “We have so many pictures of Sen and me doing fun things on this trip. You should get a turn to be in a photo with her doing something really exciting.”
“No, no. You can.” I replied. “I know you have been so excited for this, and also you are stronger and better at riding horses and things than I am. It’s probably safer if you are the one holding her on the camel.”
Okay, so it was decided that Collin would take Senya on the camel, and I would snap the photo.
Turns out, she did NOT like the camel ride. I snapped this photo before Collin or I realized that her little face was not smiling but rather horrified.
As she screamed in terror, I yelled, “bring the camel down NOW!”
“Okay, okay. But first, you can snap some photos” said the man in charge of the camel.
My baby was terrified and peering down into my eyes from atop the mile-high camel begging me with her scared scrunchy face to save her. So naturally, my response followed:
“NO. NO MORE PHOTOS! SHE’S SCARED. BRING THE CAMEL DOWN NOW!” I said forcefully and even snapped my fingers and stomped my foot for emphasis.
We consoled her, and she calmed down rather quickly. Though she did keep looking back at the camels every once in a while and would whimper. Not our best idea, we realized.
We went on to have a really fun day at a different beach. It’s the beach that we call “our” beach. There is typically no one else there, and we all three have so much fun playing in the ocean, the sand, and then hanging out under our little pavilion on a cliff that overlooks the ocean.
Maybe one day the rowdy crowds and camel rides will appeal to Senya, but for now we enjoy a more chilled out beach scene.