Grand Challenges Special Edition Blog Extravaganza by Bertha Wang, Helen Park, and Josh Rogers


As most of us prepare for our upcoming two day safari and to mark the roughly halfway point of our journey, the Grand Challenges team decided it would be good to give an update on how our part of the journey was going. Over the past two weeks we have been busy looking at schools and health dispensaries and conducting small samples of households in an attempt to decide where we would like to finally conduct our surveys. This past week, we decided on Ngochone, a small district on the western border of the Kuria West district and spent the week travelling from house to house with our wonderful translators David and Celine.

After visiting the town’s water source, a murky infested spring which we have nicknamed “the puddle,” and having seen the homesteads’ latrines – most of which have sunken in, we decided to intensely target Ngochone with our surveys. As we continued to survey in the area, we ‘accidentally’ crossed village boundaries and ended up in a much nicer village (nicknamed “hedgetown” due to its very nice hedges) which had a massive dam, a water pump, and a bathing area for animals….surprised by the disparity between the two places, we also decided to intensely survey this area in order to figure out how it obtained such nice sources.

After an initially unsuccessful morning (people in their homes began to run from us, because they believed us to be health officials who would arrest them because they did not have latrines) we found many people outside the influence of the government officials who were very kind; many people tried to feed us lunch, and tried to make us stay in their homes and become their water carriers.

Our team has bonded recently over lots of fries and salad and a trip to the local darts parlor, where Brendan, Josh and Julia absolutely dominated their competition. Really, it was just Josh who had one of the two bullseyes for the day and was the only member of the group undefeated as well. Julia might also have had a part in carrying the team.

Lots of love,

The Grand Challenges Crew
Helen, Bertha and Josh


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