Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Today I successfully defended my master's thesis, in a nerve-wracking  exciting hour and a half presentation and discussion with my committee. Just glad that's done. As a way of saying thanks for being there to all of you, here is my acknowledgement page from my thesis...


                I would like to extend my gratitude to my committee. Thank you to Kim, Sandra, and Kate for their guidance, time and energy and for being inspirational individuals in unique and important ways.  It is both encouraging and humbling to work with individuals who understand my passion for global health – who see the world with a similar curiosity and have something to show for it.
                Thank you to the staff of Carolina for Kibera, both in the US and in Kenya, especially the SRH staff. Asanteni for being gracious hosts, patient tour guides, willing collaborators, and for teaching me about leadership, commitment, and compassion. You are all living examples of ‘sacrificing for success’.
                Finally, a heart-felt  shout out to the three groups of people that truly contributed most to my success in writing this paper and completing the program – my buddies from the cohort, the proprietors of the coffee shops in the greater Chapel Hill area, and my remarkable family.
                This paper is for the people of Kibera, who are etched permanently on my life’s path and especially for the peer youth educators who give more than most adolescents I have ever met to improve the welfare of their friends, neighbors, and fellow Kiberans. Thank you for taking me to your places, showing me around, and letting me have a glimpse of your life. You have taught me more than you know about friendship, sacrifice, and hard-work. One Kiberan youth I interviewed summed up my Kibera experience best when he said:

“Before I came to Kibera I thought it was a place for poor people, but when I arrived I found that although the roofs were dusty, the brains under the roofs were good.” 

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