I arrived safely in Sumba last week. Since then, I have been very busy coordinating translators and transportation for my project. Last week, I met Rainy Octora who is the malnutrition coordinator for the Sumba Foundation. I followed Rainy out to the Larawatu Village last week to observe the beginnings of the malnutrition program there. Larawatu started receiving Sumba Foundation aid since May. I was amazed to learn that households consist of 7-10 children in the villages; which means a greater distribution of food, resources, and water among the children.
At Larawatu, Rainy and I weighed the children and recorded the information. It was relieving to see that most children had put on approximately 2-3 lbs since May. We then passed out 7 eggs and milk for the week. Rainy has also started teaching the mothers at Larawatu how to plant and cook. They are now taking turns cooking the green bean (full of protein) and coconut milk porridge. Water is still a big issue for Larawatu village because of its isolation. The mothers in the village wake up at 3 AM to pick up water from a source about 2 kilometers away.
Sumba is unreal. Outside of my project, I absolutely love exploring the culture and heritage of the people. I have learned a few Indonesian words: apanama (name), umur (age), and DA!!! (which the kids scream at you to say hi and bye). Despite some sickly-looking children, they are very enthusiastic and energetic.
I can’t wait to continue my project tomorrow.