Patti McGill Peterson Center for International and Intercultural Studies
Why did you choose the KSP?
I had been attracted to St. Lawrence's program in Kenya since my admissions interview. The KSP Summerterm caught my eye because I was a fall and spring athlete so I couldn't go during the regular semesters. I wanted to go to a place that I had never been to before, and that I knew I would probably not get a chance to return to, so Africa, Kenya specifically, was the place for me. From the three courses offered, I chose Health Care Delivery in a Developing Country, taught by KSP Co-Director Wairimu Ndirangu.
What was it about your KSP experience that inspired or compelled you to stay involved with Africa?
In Nairobi's Kibera slums, we were involved with a project focused on solar-powered water disinfection systems which the community was trying to promote. Also in Kibera, we had an opportunity to visit a school and learn from local families about the types of healthcare available. In the town of Eldoret, in Kenya's Rift Valley, we met Dr. Joe Mamlin, who started the Academic Model for Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH). When I returned to campus I wrote papers in several of my courses about these and other experiences from Kenya.
Last fall I returned to Kenya as an intern with an organization called Education for All Children (EFAC). I worked in schools in Rongai Village in the Rift Valley with EFAC Scholars. My family sponsors a girl through EFAC so she is able to attend secondary school, and through that connection I was presented with this opportunity. It was a different experience than with the KSP Summerterm, but was still amazing and still leaves me wanting to go back to Kenya.
Do you have a memorable story to share from your KSP?
I was part of a great group while I was in Kenya. There was a weekend that we had free, and we had the options of hiking Mt. Longonot, bopping around Nairobi, or relaxing at the compound. The entire group decided to hike Mt. Longonot. There were students on the program who had never hiked before, and there they were, hiking in Kenya! I was so impressed and so happy to be there with everyone.