MPH alumna, Infectious DiseaseS and Microbiology
I served in Mozambique, a large country in sub-Saharan Africa from 2011-2013. I lived in the Northern part of the country in a small town and worked with the American non-governmental organization Pathfinder International. I worked on the behavior change and communication component of the program. This involved planning, coordinating and supervising theater performances, community debates and live radio debates. I also coordinated stigma, discrimination and gender-based violence workshops for community leaders. I had the opportunity to team up with a research team from Pathfinder International and participate in conducting a mixed-methods study that aimed to evaluate the delivery of a reproductive health intervention. I used data from this study for my master's thesis. Aside from my work with Pathfinder, I had a secondary project with a photojournalism youth group and helped out at the local preschool.
The house I lived in was pretty basic, mud bricks covered in cement with a tin roof and cement floor. I had an outdoor pit-latrine and bathing area. My neighbor had a well so that is where I got my water from.
I LOVED my experience in Peace Corps and at Pitt! I am so, so glad I decided to do this program. Peace Corps is one of those things I have always sort of thought about and once I decided to pursue a master's degree in public health I knew I had to do this program. I am specializing in infectious diseases and global health so my time in Peace Corps gave me priceless first-hand experience of the topics we talk about in class. An MPH is a really practical, practice-based degree and you just can't get any better practice than Peace Corps!
Me and some colleagues doing supervision in the field
My neighbors making peanut butter in my back yard (that's my latrine and bathing area in the background)