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Habari Gani?
(Swahili for “What’s the news?”)

John Linsley ’04 (KSP fall ’02)
History Department
Stratton Mountain School
World Cup Circle
Stratton Mountain, VT 05155

With 23 participants, St. Lawrence launched the Kenya Summerterm in June.  The program, held at the KSP center in Karen, offered three courses, in healthcare, conservation, and archaeology.  Professors for the program included Abdelwahab Sinnary, KSP academic director; Wairimu Ndirangu, KSP administrative director; and Associate Professor of Anthropology John Barthelme. 
Kiernan Mittlefehldt ’06, daughter of Wendy Anderson Mittlefehldt ’77 (KSP spring ’77), participated on the inaugural program, after which she stayed with her mother’s urban homestay family from three decades earlier, the Ambundos.  Wendy wrote, “I adored them and their four children, and I corresponded with them regularly until we suddenly lost touch.”  Years later, Wendy spotted a picture of the Ambundos with one of her sorority sisters in the St. Lawrence magazine and was able to reconnect with them.  With Kiernan on her way to visit the Ambundos at their home in western Kenya, Wendy said, “We are really thrilled that she can do this.  These really are the connections St. Lawrence is providing students which will last a lifetime.”
Brenda Fuller (Vassar College, KSP fall ’83) wrote, “My semester in Kenya was positively life-altering and, even today, recollections of my experience are very much part of my regular discourse.  Entering the KSP as a student from Vassar, I truly valued being embraced into the program by the St. Lawrence students.” 
Brenda went to law school after graduating from Vassar College and has returned to Africa for travel.  She has two boys and lives on the University of Virginia campus, where her husband is on the faculty.
Amanda Pearson ’92 (KSP fall ’90) met up with her college roommates for a mini-reunion in Park City, Utah.  Amanda and Kathleen Fitzgerald ’92 (KSP spring ’91) have signed up for the Marine Corps marathon in October--the third marathon for both of them this year.  Kathleen also returned to Tanzania this winter to travel with Dorobo Safaris as part of an Appalachian Mountain Club trip.
Laura Loyola (Amherst College, KSP spring ’97) wrote that she would be returning to Kenya in May for six months to assist in doctoral research focusing on the impact of human encroachment on the behavior and health of Blue and Sykes monkeys in the Gede region north of Mombasa.  Laura’s desire to study primates was born on the KSP when she spent her IDS attached to the Institute of Primate Research in Karen.  She added, “I often think of my semester there, the friends I made and all the wonderful experiences I had.  Now, looking at maps of Nairobi and Karen, memories come flooding back. I can’t believe we did so much in such a short time.”
While passing through Canton in June, I bumped into Steve Alexander ’03 (KSP fall ’02).  Most recently, Steve began his graduate degree while teaching at the Teton Science School in Wyoming and continues to guide for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).  After graduation, he was assistant director of St. Lawrence’s Outdoor Program.  Steve is again back in the North Country as assistant director of the University’s Adirondack Semester.
Brendan Hayes ’04 (KSP spring ’03) continues his life in Swaziland as associate program coordinator of Young Heroes, a program operated through NERCHA, the National Emergency Response Council on HIV/AIDS of the government of Swaziland.  The Young Heroes program gathers funds from sponsors to distribute to orphaned Swazi children whose parents have died of AIDS.  The goal of the program is to keep young families, often headed by an elder child, together on their homesteads.  Brendan wrote, “Swaziland has 1.2 million people and is set to reach 120,000 AIDS orphans over the next four years.  Our outfit is a small stopgap measure.  We are hoping to reach as many families as possible with a little direct relief to avoid disaster.”  You can explore Young Heroes at
Jessie Davie ’04 (KSP fall ’02) and Sarah Ellis ’04 (KSP fall ’02) visited Brendan in Swaziland last spring.  The two also traveled to Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, where they happened to drop into some peculiar circumstances.  Sarah wrote, “While walking down a side street, we came upon a crowd of people and two charred, smoldering cars which had been roped off.  We looked down the street and saw smoke coming out of a building, and before we had time to react, we heard a voice yell ‘Don’t walk on that side of the street, people have just been shot.’”  Jessie and Sarah hightailed it out of the area, ducked into a nearby café and asked the proprietor what was happening. He smiled and said, “You know, they are shooting a Leonardo DiCaprio movie down there today; maybe you mistakenly walked onto the set.”  While there was no violence in Maputo that day, you might see two St. Lawrence
Jessie and Sarah spent much of this past year working in the West African country of Ghana at the Kopeyia Bloomfield Local Authority School (see photo).  Their work focused on fundraising and spearheading the drafting of a new school constitution which the Ghana Education System will inevitably implement in schools across the country.  You can explore the Kopeyia School at
Jon Angus ’07 and Barrett Miles ’07 (both KSP spring ’06) wrote many e-mails telling of their adventures.  Jon spent his urban homestay with the Mwangi family in Karen; Barrett stayed with the Kapur family.  Both families have hosted countless St. Lawrence students over the years.  As part of a newly created component in Amboseli National Park, Barrett and Jon lived with a Maasai family.  They wrote, “This two-night, all-inclusive stay included a full day of camel riding, herding, fence repairs, and the castration of not one, but two goats.  We really enjoyed speaking through our interpreter to the mzee who killed two lions as a morani.” 
Jon assisted with a topical field study in Nairobi National Park for his IDS while Barrett headed to Mombasa to work with the Kenya Marine Research Institute.  Along with several other students, Jon and Barrett kept up with the popular St. Lawrence tradition of climbing Mt. Kenya before returning stateside.
Derek Hackmann ’04 (KSP fall ’02) was stationed in China for six months this past year as part of his work with General Electric.  He attributes the assignment largely to his experiences abroad while at St. Lawrence.  He e-mailed, “I thought I had covered a lot of cultural rarities in Europe and Kenya, but the culture in China was very different from anything I had yet experienced.”  He also visited Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.  Not that the KSP offered enough opportunity for experimenting with new foods, but Derek added a few new items to the list: pig ear, intestine and kidney, and cow stomach and tongue.
Jonathan King ’96 (KSP spring ’95) and his wife, Elizabeth Trenchard ’97, are expecting a sibling for their son Ethan this fall.  On behalf of the KSP alumni, the best as they begin yet another adventure!
Katie Gauthier ’04 (KSP fall ’02) and I co-led one of two high school service programs offered this summer in Arusha, Tanzania, by Putney Student Travel.  The other Putney program was led by Hope Thornton ’01 (KSP fall ’99) and Lee Rosberg ’05 (KSP spring ’04).  Both programs finished with a week-long safari to Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Parks with Dorobo Safaris.

Staying in Touch
All KSP alumni are invited to join the Kenya Program Yahoo Group, an online forum that was launched this spring.  The intent of the chat group is to provide a means for alumni from across the years to share stories and experiences.  If you would like an invitation to join the Yahoo Group, please send an e-mail to me at or Heather Elizabeth Patt ’96 (KSP spring ’95) at

Send Your Updates

If you are willing to tell a story from your KSP semester, or provide an update on your current doings, please contact me using the information above (note my new address). Thanks to the many alumni who contributed to this column.  Tutaonana!

Summer 2003 Entry
Fall 2003 Entry
Winter 2004 Entry
Spring 2004 Entry
Summer 2004 Entry
Fall 2005 Entry
Spring 2006 Entry

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