Our experiences with veterinary medicine in Kenya are unique compared to the rest of the world. I have dedicated my free time on my Instagram channel to share our experiences with the world.
The global pandemic has been both a blessing and a curse on my journey. During the pandemic, our classes have switched to online conferences. Internships and externship positions are rarely offered now, for obvious reasons. I have been very lucky because I found some practical experiences to feed my hunger for knowledge and put into practice what I learned in my lectures.
This is a day in the life of Lenny Mengere Mureithi – The Millennial Vet. 4th year Veterinary Medicine student, University of Nairobi: Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences.
Breakfast – Dawn of a new day
I am a night owl; Which translates to me not being a morning person. My day starts between 6:30 am and 7:00 am
A morning prayer to start my day, followed by the basics like making my bed and my ablutions, and finally, my favorite part of the morning, breakfast. I enjoy our renowned and authentic Kenyan breakfast: “Nduma” (arrowroot), “Ngwaci” (sweet potatoes) or bread washed down with ginger tea and cinnamon.
Afterwards, I review my agenda for the day, which I usually plan the night before.
Mornings differ depending on whether class is in session or not. When I am in session, the mornings are usually packed with lectures. I would leave home and head to school for the 8:00 AM conferences.
Sometimes I have hands-on training at a local veterinary clinic. Naturally, I really enjoy the clinic. On normal days, there are scheduled vaccinations, home and farm visits, and minor surgeries. On rare but extremely exciting occasions we handle exotic animals and birds.
My favorite parts of school are surgery and pharmacology!
My typical lunch includes a lot of street food when I’m on campus. Some examples include: “Smokie Pasua” (which is basically a smokies/sausage stuffed with Kachumbari; onions and tomatoes; wrapped in chapatti, chapatti and braised beef or street fries with a little salad on the side.
I love this food because it is not only tasty but also affordable for any student in Kenya. I really enjoy having lunch with my classmates as we discuss classes or weird cases we’ve worked on.
Lectures and study.
My morning lectures start at 8:00 am and finish around 10:00 am This is followed by a 30 minute tea break. After that, we go back to the conferences until lunch (12:30 pm). After lunch we go back to class again until 4:00 pm Wednesday is my short day, classes finish at lunch time.
Dinner at home is at 6:30 PM. My favorite portion is our cultural food: Ugali served with a mix of vegetables (which we call “Nyeni”) like kale and spinach; and chicken. I enjoy having it with my family at the table as we talk about our day. After family time, I go to study until around 10:30 pm and sleep around 11:00 pm
I like to study alone at night. I have a quiet room and I spend the night reviewing notes and trying to understand the concepts that are taught in my lectures. I have a system that I use to study, I study for 30-40 minutes and then I take a 10 minute break. This way seems to work better for me.
Hobbies and interests.
Veterinary medicine is my career, but I have a lot to do when I’m not in uniform or lab coat.
I am a music enthusiast. I am a classically trained trumpeter. I play for the Junior Chamber Orchestra, the Kenya National Youth Orchestra and the Kenya National Symphony Orchestra. I have also appeared in major productions such as Nairobi Performing Arts Studio’s Sarafina; Solei and Khweva’s Black Monday: Two of Kenya’s biggest theater production companies. I have also appeared at hotel events such as Valentine’s night at the Cysuites hotel in Nairobi.
I also have an Instagram page that I use to document my journey in veterinary medicine and you can follow me on Instagram. @the_millennial_vet