Greetings from a rainy Nairobi! I am doing very well - enjoying the opportunity to be back in my favorite city in the world. I am almost done with my second week here and it is unbelievable how fast the time is flying by. I guess that is what happens when you enjoy the work that you do. I have been able to conduct a number of interviews in Dandora and I cannot quite comprehend how amazing some of the narratives are. Despite adversity and innumerable roadblocks, most of the women have worked to improve their livelihoods by utilizing the resources around them to create stronger businesses and seeking advice from the mentors whom they were assigned in the trial. At the same time, it truly saddens me to see the extent to which the Kenyan government has ignored some of its citizens who are languishing in abject poverty and lack critical services. Nevertheless, Dandora shows the extent to which poverty can be both an incubator of creativity and abject despondency.
Early last week, I had the opportunity to attend the ICT4D (Information Communication Technology for Development) Conference that was organized by the Catholic Relief Services. It was amazing to see some of the technologies that have been developed by practitioners in the international development world. People presented on the new cutting-edge systems that have enhanced the measurement and evaluation systems of programs, and how their organizations have been able to reach more people in the most remote places on earth. The best part of it was meeting with the Notre Dame graduates who are working in different countries in Africa and seeing how applicable the research I am doing is in the real world. In addition, I was able to see the opportunities that are available once I graduate from college.