by: Kristina Ciminillo
Meet Janeth and Nataniela Makene. Nataniela was born at Bluffton Hospital on March 3, 2015.
Janeth is a 1st year Master’s Degree Program student here at BU. She is studying Production and Operations Management.
KC: How did you manage to have a baby and be in a Master’s Program?
JM: I was inspired by a story written by a Kenyan author titled “Is it Possible?” It’s a Masai story which was all about carrying books on one hand and carrying a spear on the other hand.
KC: Tell me a little bit more.
JM: Masai people in both Kenya and Tanzania do not believe in education. Due to change the government encouraged the Masai people to get an education.
KC: What is the spear about?
JM: The Masai are livestock keepers so they use the spear to defend their animals from wild animals and enemies. So for them education is not as important as a spear.
KC: How did the story then encourage you to get an education?
JM: I was inspired by a Masai boy who decided to go to school.
KC: What made him want to do that?
JM: He saw the importance of education and he wanted to be educated while, at the same time, maintaining his culture. Through the story of the Masai boy I came to realize that it is possible for me to have a baby and still continue with my studies.
KC: So, are you from Kenya or Tanzania?
JM: I’m from Tanzania.
KC: What is the population of Tanzania?
JM: It’s 4.4 million.
KC: How many languages and different dialects do you speak?
JM: I don’t speak any of the native languages, I can only hear my mom’s and my dad’s and respond to them. I grew up speaking Swahili which is our national language.
KC: How did you learn English?
JM: I started learning English in third grade. It was difficult.
KC: Do you mind if I ask how old you are?
JM: I am 27.
KC: You mentioned to me before that your husband is possibly going to follow work to Australia.
JM: He went for a fellowship, which was for three months, now he is back home.
KC: What is his name?
JM: Benjamin Makane
KC: Do you live on campus or have a host family?
JM: I live with Ron and Sue Epp, who kindly host me.
KC: Tell me about your culture shock coming to Bluffton and a village.
JM: I didn’t have any culture shock. I live in a village and have been to America before so I knew what to expect.
KC: How did you find Bluffton?
JM: Through friends that I worked with in summer camp in Michigan in 2007.
KC: So you have experienced our cold winters before?
KC: What do you miss from home?
JM: I miss the food, most especially ugali, which is like stiff porridge.
KC: How do you communicate with your family and husband?
JM: Skyping, email, and Facebook.
KC: What are your plans in life?
JM: I will go back home and open a business and maybe look for a good job.
KC: Thank you for your time today.
JM: My pleasure.