Cougar Cowgirl: Kenyan Edition

I, Josie Goodrich, and three other Murrow students conducted research in Nairobi, Kenya, over spring break



Josie Goodrich conducting interviews in Narok, Kenya, with participants of Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Animal Health, March 14, 2023.

JOSIE GOODRICH, Reporter/Copy Editor

I traded in my rope for a camera and my horse Ruby for some zebras.

Over spring break I went to Nairobi, Kenya, as part of a journalist group for the Murrow College of Communication. The trip was fully paid for, for myself and three other Murrow students, so that we could research and report on infectious diseases emerging in the country.

This trip was so amazing, and every time someone asks me about how it went, I honestly do not know what to say. It was busy and overwhelming in the best way.

We started the trip off by going to Nairobi National Park and doing a game drive, seeing some of the coolest animals in the world. It was so amazing seeing lions, giraffes, zebras and rhinos up close; it was something I will never forget.

Then, we went to the Giraffe Centre, where we got to feed giraffes! I even did a stand up while feeding a giraffe, which I am so excited to share in the package that I will be creating. I started to do a bit more broadcast on this trip, which I am excited to get more involved in.


After that, we went right to work on Monday. The team went to Global Health Kenya and visited the WSU office. It was amazing getting to meet researchers and WSU faculty that live in Nairobi. The Coug spirit was big!

Damien Alvarado, one of the other three students, and I went to Narok, Kenya, on Tuesday, which is a very small, rural community. I met with a mom and daughter that are involved in the WSU program Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Animal Health.

I interviewed both of the women, but they spoke Swahili, so our trip advisor, Joy Wanja Muraya, helped us translate. It was a really cool experience being able to interview someone that doesn’t speak my language; I could really hear their native tongue while carrying on a conversation.

We then finished the night staying at the Masai Mara National Reserve, a worldwide famous wildlife conservation and wilderness area in Africa. Our team got to stay within the reservation, and we went on another game drive the next morning, seeing even more beautiful land and animals.

After the drive, we headed back to Narok, where I was able to go to school with my interview subject at Masaantare Primary School. I was able to see the kids interact with one another, and it was truly remarkable to see the community in which they receive their education.

Lastly, Thursday was filled with newsroom tours. The Standard Group, the oldest multimedia news organization in Kenya, has radio, print, digital content and television all in one building, which was such a fun and fast environment. We also went to the Nation Media Group and saw a live broadcast, which was so exciting to see.

We also had the opportunity to visit the University of Nairobi, where we met some amazing journalism students, and I am so thankful for the chance to have made some new friends!

All in all, the experience was something I am forever grateful for and can not thank Murrow College enough for. This trip has changed my life in many ways, and I feel my journalism and worldview were positively impacted in a way that will shape the rest of my career and life.

The Kenyan lifestyle is beautiful, along with the culture, nature and people. I cannot wait to go back, because I definitely have it on my list of things to do when I graduate! Again, thank you Murrow College for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.