I am familiar with East Africa as I grew up in Ethiopia, a country north of Kenya. However, this was my first time to be in Kenya, as a Corteva Grows Food Security Fellow to work on AMPATH-Corteva collaboration project.
Eldoret, located approximately at 2,100 m (6,900 ft) above sea level, boasts an almost perfect temperature throughout the year. The high elevation of this region moderates the tropical temperature resulting in pleasant weather year long. The weather, topography, plant and animal life in Eldoret reminds me of my experiences in the Ethiopian highlands where I grew up. Although there are language and culture differences between Kenyan and Ethiopian highland residents, the livelihood and socio-economic circumstances of small-scale farmers are similar in both countries that I was able to quickly understand the circumstances of farmers in Kenya.
People in Kenya are extremely welcoming and very hospitable. I quickly established great working relationships with my fellow AMPATH colleagues and have felt very welcome as I visit small-scale farmers. During greeting conversations, one of the words I hear the most is “Karibu”, meaning welcome in Swahili. Kenya is a very welcoming country, indeed.
Eldoret offers various options for shopping ranging from open market to modern malls, movie theatres, grocery stores, and restaurants. I enjoy the local cuisines with plenty of fish, ugali (corn meal porridge), and nyama choma (barbequed mutton), Sukuma wiki (collard greens), and various Indian dishes, all of which are delicious!
Needless to mention that Kenya is blessed with all kinds of natural beauty. As an amateur photographer, I am enjoying taking photographs of beautiful insects, birds, plants, and landscape in Eldoret area during the weekends.
I am excited and proud of the opportunity offered to me through Corteva for Corteva Grows Food Security Fellowship as I get opportunity to directly contribute to the livelihood of small-scale farmers in Kenya by teaching them better agricultural practices to help them improve productivity, generate better income, and ensure food security.