Tee on Instagram

I’m having so much fun on Instagram. I love living abroad but I felt like I was losing touch with some important friendships back home. It’s hard to stay connected with the distance and time difference. Instagram is the perfect bridge. I’m able to share my life and see the lives of my friends and strangers that inspire me.

Follow me: @tmpierson_85

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World Malaria Day Project Results

April 25th was World Malaria Day/WMD. March – May was our time to shine as the Stomp Out Malaria program coordinators in Kenya and shine we did through the incredible work of our volunteers. In celebration of WMD our volunteers completed 26 projects which reached over 52,000 community members and they are still working to reach even more.

Malaria in Kenya is daunting and a little bit mind boggling considering the amount of resources we have and the amount of efforts geared towards reducing the burden. Sometimes the large organizations are just out of touch but PCVs are not visitors but members of their communities for 2 years and we know exactly what the problem is in our small areas and how to solve them…then we do exactly that.

The 3 initiatives that we wrote proposals for, secured funding, and supported our volunteers through were malaria murals, information booths/tables and bed net use appreciated photo displays. All 3 of these projects attack what’s now needed in the fight against malaria: behavior change. The murals serve as a constant reminder to sleep under your net and other preventative or treatment methods, the information booths give you opportunity to have one-on-one dialog to answer questions and dispel myths and the photo project publicly recognizes community members who have adopted healthy behaviors. Here are some results…

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Potential Career Path: Funeral Photographer

I’ve done some unexpected things as a Peace Corps Volunteer all of which pale in comparison to my day as a funeral photographer. I just wanted to help my family and they wanted pictures to remember this event.

I was hesitant to take pictures of people crying or saying their final goodbye. Grieving is such a personal experience. Also, I may have been grieving more for this woman who’s name I didn’t know until an hour into the 3rd day of the funeral celebration and whose casket was in a tent 5 feet from my house than many of the people present.

Death is just dealt with differently here and I think they may have it right or at least a way that’s less traumatizing than we do in the west. They accept it as a part of life. It’s not something to fall apart over. It’s a time to celebrate. I don’t want to paint a picture that there was no grieving because her children were completely destroyed the way anyone would be when they lose their mother.

I think I was successful. My Mama and Baba were very impressed with the photos and since I printed so many other family members and friends were able to get some. If I helped them celebrate her life than it was completely worth my discomfort.

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To Dry Your Fish, Hang it on the Fence

My family has suffered a lost. Similar to American funeral traditions the family is coming together to support each other and celebrate the life that has passed on and food is very much apart of both the support and the celebration.

Today I bought four beautiful fish for our family dinner.

Water and oil don’t mix so before you fry the fish you have to dry out the water. I have seen this drying process happen in several ways but never hung on the fence.

This picture came out crazy against the ominous sky. I think it may be my favorite photo of my whole service.

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A Lesson in Work/Life Balance (Hipsters United)

I didn’t quite master the work hard, play hard philosophy in undergrad but Peace Corps is an amazing teacher. I had a super productive week, the fruits of which will be blogged in the coming weeks. Work hard check…I was thrilled to be with my friends for the weekend.

The theme: Hipsterlicious.

Now for the photos…

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