Worlds Apart

Day 4

Today was a better day than most. I’ve actually started to enjoy the rooster waking me up at 6 a.m.It’s like a nifty alarm clock you don’t have to set. He goes off at 15 minute intervals like clockwork, snooze button included!

Going to the school is easier. I’m getting more comfortable with the kids. I play with them and I was teaching them today how to do the catwalk for their graduation. Its so cute watching the girls walk like supermodels.

Mila (the mom at the house I stay at and the teacher I work with) was out today, she had to have a checkup since she is due to have her baby at the end of this month. She didn’t want me to teach her class because she thinks I am too quiet. I almost laughed at that, I am the furthest thing from quiet. So instead I spent the day with Lydia and Virginia (the two German volunteers).

Decorations

Decorations

We made decorations for the graduating classes and it was kind of a nice change from sitting in the classroom all day.

Around 11 a.m. we took the kids outside to practice for their graduation, watching them all sing and dance and do their catwalk was absolutely adorable.

  1. The children waiting to practice to graduate

    The children waiting to practice to graduate

Each class had their own announcement. The baby class and pre-unit thanked their “teachers and parents and fellow people” for their education, class 1 showed how they can count in English and class two showed how they can spell in English.

I opted out of eating lunch today. I looked at the flies covering my food and

Flies cover everything

Flies cover everything

I couldn’t do it. I thought maybe I’d have some watermelon, but that was covered in flies too.

People started asking me questions today. One teacher was fascinated by my water bottle and my hair. She asked me if I had to put oils in my hair after the shower. She was surprised when I told her I didn’t and then she asked “do you just get out of the shower and your hair looks like that?!” I laughed a little and said yea. She then began commenting on how smooth it is and wanted to see how long it is and told me that she loved my hair color because it looks perfect with my skin.

It kind of makes me feel bad. In the states we are so consumed with being the picture of perfection. We are constantly comparing ourselves to each other, it’s always a competition. Yet here I am, in mud splattered jeans, dirt encrusted sneakers, a grungy pullover sweater, my hair pulled back in a haphazard bun and no make-up  and I STILL get complimented because my hair is smooth and my hair color is pretty. Ya know, it makes me wonder, why do we try so hard instead of being proud of the qualities we already poses that don’t have a label?

I’m beginning to feel like an entitled American as later in the day I was washing dishes with Leonand and he asked me if we wash dishes by hand in America. I told him sometimes, but we have a machine that washes dishes for us. He asked what about clothes. I said we have a machine to wash clothes too. He thought the concept was funny and wanted to know how a dishwasher works. I explained it to him and he said he wants to visit America so he can see the machine that washes dishes.

He asked about my work and suggested that when I go back I should teach the dishwashers to wash the plates by hand like we do in Kenya. I laughed and told him I don’t think they’d go for that. He looked at me confused and wanted to know why. So I had to explain that there are too many dishes to wash by hand, it wouldn’t be fast enough.

He explained that in Kenya they don’t mind hard work and it is important to work for everything.

It really continues to amaze me how much we take for granted. At home I complain about loading the dishwasher when it does the work for me and here they are proud of a little hard work.

Tonight when we got back to the house I got a real treat for dinner. We had pasta with broccoli and carrots! My face lit up like it was Christmas morning, causing the other volunteers (tim, Lydia and Virginia) to laugh at my excitement. The other day when I went to the Nakumat (grocery store) I saw Heinz ketchup. Anyone who knows me knows I had to buy it.

So when I found out we were having pasta I ran to my room to grab true ketchup. BEST dinner I’ve had since I got here. I had two helpings, although I received funny looks from everyone when I asked if they were okay with me taking the rest of the pasta. I explained I just didn’t want to take the rest if someone wanted more. I guess down here it is survival of the fittest and ’86 the manners.

After dinner I found it funny, Joseph, Mila and Barnabas’ son was watching Disney channel. The same Princess show my nephew watches. It’s amazing how halfway across the world, I am still finding ways that culture doesn’t matter. We are all inherently the same.

Lydia, me and Virginia

Lydia, me and Virginia

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4 Comments

  1. You did an amazing job writing this. It keeps us tuned in like watching a soap. Would love to see pics of the person who was
    doing dishes with you and your surroundings. We take everything for granted that when you hear a story like this, it’s just hard to believe. Thanks for including all of us in you experience there!

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