Staff Spotlight: Jessie Kanter
A conversation with Jessie Kanter, Farm & Community Outreach Fellow and Staff Spotlight for April, 2018!
So, Jessie, where are you from originally?
I'm from the United States, and I grew up in the state of Minnesota.
What is your favorite vegetable?
My favorite vegetable is Broccoli.
Is Broccoli nutritious?
Well, in fact it is! It is quite nutritious. It is not part of our home garden package, but we grow it on other farm, it’s delicious!
Do you have any hobbies outside of work?
I really enjoy running and reading, and spending time with friends and family when I'm home.
Jessie working on the farm with farm technicians Alphred and Nganizi in September, 2017.
How did you first begin working at GHI?
The position for Farm Fellow was posted on a college job board through my university, and I found it and applied. And now here I am!
What is your favorite part about working with GHI?
Definitely the people. The people working here are so amazing and hardworking, they make coming to work so much fun every day. It's the most beautiful place and I love it so much.
Tell us a GHI-related story that impacted you in some way. It could be from a training or an enrollment Turikumwe case, something on the farm, anything that comes to mind.
I was involved in enrollment and went to the health center in Murandi, and one of the little children who came in with their mothers was extremely malnourished, having a hard time breathing, and ended up being like a red case. It was just kind of the first time I'd seen that extreme malnutrition in such a young child so up close. And then after the whole program ran, I went back for graduation in Murandi and I saw that same kid - he was the most energetic one at the graduation, just running around and looking so much healthier. And I just thought that was so amazing and it was so cool to actually be able to see that impact.
What is one thing that your coworkers might not know about you?
I guess those people probably don't know that I played ice hockey growing up. It’s not a big sport in Rwanda, but it would be fun to get a skating rink here!
Tell us a little bit about your involvement with the ECD program on the farm.
I've been doing farm activities with the kids, which has been super fun. They had a little garden patch that we planted which was super fun, and then as of the last couple of months I've been trying to do some sort of agriculture themed curriculum with them once a week. Some examples have been lessons on the science of germination, or talking about what vegetables and different foods comprise a holistic diet, things like that. But yeah, it's been super fun and I love those kids. They are so great.
What will you bring back from Rwanda back to the United States?
It's going to sound cheesy: the Turi Kumwe vibe! I feel like the workplace here is very supportive, everyone is really looking out for each other and I think that's really special, I think that it's really easy to get caught up in your work in lots of environments in the United States, so just kind of acknowledging the people who are your coworkers versus simply treating them as your coworkers. That whole spirit of helping each other out, being friends with the people you're working with.
Anything you’d like to add?
I just feel so incredibly fortunate to have had this experience and I've learned so much being here. Not just about agriculture, which was I came in the first place, but also just about what it means to be a good, kind person. I’m very grateful for the farm techs who have helped me a lot. And Denyse, Godfrey, and literally everyone. The kitchen mamas for the amazing lunch every day. Everyone’s great. I just wanted everyone to know that.
Translation by Jasmine Umubano, Photos by Maggie Andresen
Ibibazo n’ibisubizo hamwe n’umukozi w’ukwezikwa Kane 2018: Ikiganiro twagiranye na Jessie Kanter, Ushinzwe gukurikirana umurima no kwegera kominote!
Turi gufata amajwi. Jessie, uturuka hehe?
Nturuka muri leta zunze ubumwe za Amerika, nakuriye muri leta ya Minnesota.
Ni izihe mboga ukunda kurusha izindi?
Imboga nkunda ni broccoli.
Ese zigira intungamubiri?
Yego, nibyo zirazifite! Zifite intungamubiri zigereranije. Ntabwo ziri muri gahunda yacu y’akarima k’igikoni ariko hari undi murima tuzihingamo kandi ziraryoha.
Hari ibindi bintu waba ukunda bitari ibyo mu kazi?
Nkunda kwiruka no gusoma, kumarana umwanya n’incuti cyangwa n’ umuryango wanjye iyo ndi mu rugo.
Ni gute watangiye gukorera muri GHI?
Nabonye ku ishuri muri kaminuza umwanya w’umuntu ushinzwe gukurikirana umurima no kwegera kominote bimanitswe ku kibaho cy’amatangazo y’itangwa ry’akazi ku mwanya w’umuntu ushinzwe gukurikirana umurima no kwegera kominote. Nsaba ako kazi. Ubu ndi hano uko.
Ni iki ukunda mu gukorana na GHI?
Ni abantu. Abantu bakorera aha baratangaje kandi barakora cyane bagatuma kujya ku kazi binshimisha cyane buri munsi, kuko ni ahantu heza kandi ndahakunda cyane.Tubwire inkuru y’icyaba cyaragukoze ku mutima – gishobora kuba ikintu kimwe wabonye mwasuye urugo, mu mahugurwa cyangwa igihe mwandikaga abinjiye muri gahunda z’Umurima w’Ubuzima, ikintu cyabaye cyerekerenye na Turikumwe, cyangwa icyabereye mu murima; icyo ari cyo cyose! Ntekereza ko ikintu kiza nabashije kubona ni umukigonderabuzima. Hari mu ntangiriro z’imirimo nakoragamo. Nagize uruhare mu kwandika abaza muri gahunda Njya no mu bigonderabuzima muri Murandi. Umwe mu bana bari kumwe n’ababyeyi babo yari yaragize ibibazo by’imirire mibi ku buryo yahumekaga bimugoye biza kurangira bamushyize mu bari mu murongo utukura. Bwari ubwa mbere mbonye ikibazo gikomeye cy’imirire mibi nk’icyo. Nyuma yaho gahunda yose irangiriye, nasubiyeyouri Murandi mu gutanga impamyabumenyi , mbasha kubona wa mwana kandi niwe wari ufite imbaraga kurusha abandi yiruka kandi agaragara nk’ufite ubuzima bwiza. Natekereje ko ibintu nk’ibyo bitangaje kandi byari byo koko. Ni byiza kuba narabashije kubona impinduka nkiyo, byari byiza cyane.
Ni ikihe kintu kimwe abantu mukorana bashobora kuba batakuziho?
Nkeka ko abantu benshi bashobora kuba batazi ko nakinnye umukino witwa “ice hockey.” Ntago ari sport ikomeye mu Rwanda ariko byaba bishimishije kubasha kuyikina hano.
Tubwire gato uruhare rwawe muri gahunda ya ECD ku murima
Ntekereza ko ari nko kuba hose mu mahuriro yanjye ark ni cyane cyane nko mu bindi bikorwa nagiye mbonekamo nk’ibikorwa byo mu murima n’abana kandi byari bishimishije cyane. Mu gihe gishize no muri iki gihe, bari bafite akarima gato twahinze kandi byari bishimishije cyane kandi mu mezi make ashize, nagerageje gukorana nabo nka rimwe mu cyumweru amasomo ajyanye n’ubuhinzi. Aho harimo ibintu byinshi nka siyansi yo kumera cyangwa se kuvuga imboga icyo aricyo cyangwa se amoko y’ibiryo agize agize indryo yuzuye n’ibindi nk’ibyo. Byari bishimishije cyane kandi nkunda abo bana. Ni abana bahebuje.
Ni iki uzasubira muri Leta zunze ubumwe ubashyiriye ukuye mu Rwanda?
Ntekereza ko nzabashyira byose, byose, bias nk’ibiciriritse gusa nka Turikumwe kuberako numva ku kazi hano ari ahantu wabonera abagufasha, buri wese aba arebera mugenzi Ntekereza ko ibyo ari ibintu bidasanzwe rwose kandi biroroshye kubona ubufatanye. Ahantu henshi muri leta zunze ubumwe za Amerika aba ari ukubona abandi nk’abo mukorana gusa aho kubafata nkabo mukorana: uwo mutima wo gufashanya, kuba incuti n’abantu mukorana.
Hari icyo wakongeraho?
Ndumva ari amahirwe cyane kubona uyu mwanya kandi kuba hano nahigiye byinshi. Nk’iby’ubuhinzi cyane ko ari nabyo byanzanye hano bwa mbere ark kandi nize n’icyo aricyo kuba umuntu ugira neza. Ikindi ndashimira abakozi bo mu murima bamfashije cyane, na Denise umuyobozi ukuriye ibikorwa by’ubuhinzi na Godfrey n’undi wese. Ndashima abahinzi n’akora mu gikoni kubw’ ifunguro ryiza rya saa sita. Buri wese arahebuje kandi nashakaga ko buri wese abimenya.
Byashyizwe mu Kinyarwanda na Jasmine Umubano, Amafoto na Maggie Andresen