Thursday, July 7th

Hey All,

I continued surveying yesterday and today. I have collected data on about 50 mothers & children so far. Interesting that some mothers don’t even know their ages! Many of the kids’ birthdays are written on their bamboo house. Yesterday, Rainy and I walked to Taailelu’s water source which is 3 kilometers away and not an easy hike. The water comes from the ground. It is dirty and muddy. Most times the village boils the water to clean it. Sometimes, though, kids drink water straight from the source. No wonder why most children I have interviewed have had diarrhea multiple times. Taailelu has a big farming plot to harvest vegetables. However, the Taailelu villagers sell all of their vegetables for income instead of eating them. They use the money to buy rice because it is cheap (most farmers make $70/year).

I spent this afternoon inserting the data into an excel sheet. I compared the anthropometric data to a WHO growth chart. Most of the children are under the 5th percentile for all measurements–weight/height for age and weight for height. Pretty heavy to comprehend. Actually looking at the numbers makes the prevalent malnutrition seem more real. When I am in the villages observing, most children are smiling/happy and do not have the typical physical symptoms of malnutrition that I expected to see (rib cage sticking out, big stomach and small limbs).

Malnutrition clinic tomorrow.

Thanks for reading,