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About to visit overseas programs for the first time

Kenya, April 5, 2010

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I am writing this blog entry from a small village in Kenya called Bondo.

As a Donor Relations Representative for Mercy Corps at our Portland headquarters, I primarily answer questions about Mercy Corps and assist donors. I don't get out of the office much. However, after 11 years with Mercy Corps, I am about to get the chance to visit one of our overseas programs for the first time. I am in Kenya with another group and will be taking a side trip to the Mercy Corps program in Eldoret, Kenya.

Already this trip has been amazing, especially our group's drive by van from Nairobi through the beautiful Rift Valley. It has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world and is teeming with life, both people and animals. We passed through very green rural areas.

The beauty of this area almost masks the horrendous violence that occured here. Our Kenyan hostess, Judith, points out some tent camps in the distance. Those living there were displaced by the violence that happened after the elections in 2007.

Mercy Corps' program in Eldoret was designed to address some of the underlying causes of that violence in that area of the Rift Valley. I look forward to reporting more on this program in the days to come.