Blog entry: Kelly

We went to UNZA today and finally got to meet our buddies in person! Mukenani is my buddy, and I was nervous to meet him. Truthfully, I didn’t expect him to show up because of the lack of email exchange. He ended up being very talkative, and we had some great conversations.


After I mentioned that everyone was staring at our group, he asked, “Wouldn’t people in America stare if they saw a group of black people?” I could tell he had some misconceptions about the United States. I explained to him that there are Americans of all different races. Even if I saw something that I considered unusual, we have been taught not to stare. Then, I asked Mukenani if there were white people at his school, and he said maybe one or two professors. I never noticed the diversity in America until now. When we see people from different countries here, usually it is only temporary, but even just at Purdue we have a mix of people from everywhere.

UNZA looked pretty similar to Purdue. People were everywhere walking to class and talking with friends. Students were at the library with their laptops studying. I will admit I was surprised. I don’t know what I expected, but I thought the two would be very different.

It did make me sad to think that I will probably never get the chance to show Mukenani around Purdue. I asked him if he ever considered traveling to America, but unfortunately it is too expensive. After he proudly shared everything about his school, I wanted to return the favor. It would’ve been fun to answer his questions the way he answered mine, and I think he really would’ve been impressed.

After saying goodbye to our buddies, we went to the Special Hope Network resource center. Here, I got a few more chances to do some OAE screenings, which I was excited about. I really love getting the hands-on experience. After every screening, I get a little more comfortable, and I like audiology that much more. I screened a couple children, but then, we started screening the staff. I even saw a man come in that outright admitted he was very scared. I enjoy working with adults because they can understand and believe me when I tell them there is nothing to be afraid of.

Mr. Nelson’s speech at the end of the day inspired me. I know that I am the one benefiting from this program, but he truly seemed appreciative, which made me feel like I had a purpose and maybe made a tiny change. I realize that after graduation, I would love to go somewhere that I am needed. Mukenani was inspired to become a special education teacher because he saw people in his village needed that. Audiologists are needed everywhere, but some places need them more than others. I hadn’t looked at my future like this until now, but it’s something I will consider for the next 5 years.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. sibks
    May 31, 2014 @ 00:03:33

    What a nice surprise to find many postings today. I feel like I know your routine~packing lunches and getting lots of water! From these great descriptions it seems each situation is so the girl and her father and the many others. What an important and challenging learning experience. We appreciate your posts!


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