QE Scholars from Kenya: Memories of a P.E.I. winter

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Four graduate students from Kenya are getting set to pack up their parkas and head home after experiencing quite a Canadian winter.

They have been studying at UPEI as part of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program.

Emily Kathambi, Sarah Wangeci, Grace Wanjohi and Anne Shilechei will now return to Kenya to continue their research and then return to UPEI to complete their degrees.

Safe travels QE Scholars!

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Here they are sharing some reflections on their time on P.E.I.

Grace Wanjohi

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Yes, the first Canadian winter has been good but sometimes confusing! Bright sunny day but terribly cold, had never thought before that these two climatic conditions can occur simultaneously.


I have been doing my coursework towards fulfillment of the requirements of my Masters in Education program. Have also been writing a research proposal to guide in data collection of my project, which is about investigating the impact of augmenting cellphone messaging to traditional nutrition education methods.

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I have enjoyed the calmness of the Island and friendly nature of Islanders. Not forgetting, snow days in Winter semester – days to sit back and relax from busy schedules.
I am going back to Kenya to collect data on my project. (Also, to be with my loved ones!)
I will be back hopefully in late August since I have classes in the Fall semester.
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Anne Shileche

I have been undertaking my masters studies in Program Evaluation at the department of Applied Human Science. I have taken 3 courses – quantitative research, action research and program evaluation principles and practices. Additionally, I have worked with my supervisors to write a research a proposal and will be in the field to collect data. Beyond studies, I have co-edited the graduate newsletter twice, given a talk about my experience with community programs in Kenya to two undergraduate classes, and applied and received a $1,500 Faculty of science graduate entrance scholarships.
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I have had several good moments on the island, but the most memorable experience is the care and love I have received since I arrived. Every one has been very concerned about me, from my professors, to my fellow students, my neighbors, people i know and even strangers on the way. Let me give some examples – one person offers to drive me to church every Sunday. Another takes me for groceries, several people invited me for a meal/celebrations over Christmas holiday. This has made me comfortable and also prevented me from feeling lonely and homesick.

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As part of the QE Scholars-UPEI project in central Meru, my study seeks to evaluate the impact of the field-based training (human nutrition & cow health management) on members of two community groups in Kenya. I am more interested in finding out whether such training is empowering and enabling participants to engage in social issues within their local area. This will take about 4 months (May-August). I hope to be back to UPEI in September.

Sarah Wangeci 
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My life at UPEI has been a hive of activities. I took several courses and began writing my thesis proposal which aims to evaluate the impact of a combined nutrition and agriculture intervention on food security, diet diversity and knowledge attitudes and practices of women farmers belonging to self-help groups in rural eastern Kenya. Still, I enjoyed meeting new friends and getting involved in volunteer work on campus.
I have enjoyed meeting new people and being involved in some outdoor and indoor activities was a whole new adventure. In particular, apple picking, boat rides, snowball fights, making snow angels, snowshoeing, and watching the hockey and ringette games was breathtaking.
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I am extremely excited to be reuniting with my family and friends in a few weeks time. While in Kenya, I will collect data for my thesis project, work with women’s groups and do a few school visits. I hope to return to UPEI in the fall.
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