I had such an incredible day today. Maybe it’s because I’m finally getting comfortable with the kids and I know what I’m doing at the school. But today I was sitting in the courtyard thinking about why I’m here and the experience I wanted to get and everyone back home. I was thinking about everything I was missing out on by being here, it’s mom’s birthday and while I got to talk to her this morning it is the first birthday in 24 years that I won’t be spending with her. And then I started to think about something a friend of mine said. He told me he is jealous of where I am and what I’m doing. At the time I was really missing home and feeling bitter about my living situation. I told him there is nothing to be jealous of, I wish I could be home. And then I started thinking about it today I am so lucky. I’m having the kind of experience many people crave but don’t have the nerve to seek out.
I have the opportunity to meet so many new people and learn about different cultures, not just the Kenyan culture. I have been blessed to meet other volunteers, people from such different backgrounds and from different parts of the world. And I have had been able to experience that while we are so different, we are also very much the same. I am so immensely lucky for this opportunity. It took me two weeks to realize if, but better late than never. I am ashamed of telling my friend not to be jealous because there are so many things that break my heart to see, things I never wanted to see, but it is the most wonderful, annoying, crazy saddening, incredible experience I could have hoped for.
I was taking pictures with the kids today And l realized my face hurt. When I realized why I was shocked. I was so happy and smiling so much it caused my face to hurt, I haven’t smiled that much in a long time.
It is dirty here, and the streets are unpaved and lined with trash, but I’m falling in love with the people here. Their positive outlook is unparalleled and contagious.
We played with the kids all day long and took endless pictures. It was pure fun involving piggy back rides and throwing the kids in the air (great upper body workout). They enjoyed getting their pictures taken and taking mine. They were truly enamored by the camera.
Us volunteers spent a little time singing in the office. Virginia grabbed a guitar and asked Ian to teach us an Irish song. We ended up singing one we all knew, Gallway Girl which resulted in the song being stuck in my head all day.
We went to Class 1 where I video taped the kids singing happy birthday to my mom so I could post it on her Facebook and I taught the kids a new song that mom used to sing to us. It is from the kids show Out of the Box.
“So long, farewell to you my friend. Goodbye, for now, until we meet again. It’s been great, to play and sing together. But now it’s time to say goodbye. So long, farewell to you my friend. Goodbye, for now, until we meet again.”
After lunch the teachers taught us some African dance moves and then Virginia taught me how to waltz. It was incredibly amusing I’m sure to watch two women waltz in a school courtyard, but I caught on.
We walked the kids home and the girls got ready before going out to do some vendor shopping. I am still having a difficult time with the haggling. I was so good with it when my family went to the Dominican, but maybe it’s something I have to be intoxicated to be good at, and I’m just not willing to take that risk in Kibera. I found a really cute skirt for only 4 USD which I fully plan on wearing to the city tomorrow. It’s been a while since I had the opportunity to look nice.
Virginia and Lydia leave tomorrow and it will be so sad to see them go. They made the hardest days enjoyable, but we will keep in touch and with any luck I will see them next year. At least there is another volunteer here to keep me company,he can’t replace my new German friends, but he’ll have to do even though I am continuously accused of being a hipster.
Life is improving here, the family is very considerate and have started cooking things i like for dinner. This means a lot of pasta, but I’m not complaining, at least im eating. My stomache is shrinking I think, I dont require much food now which is fine and I’ve come to realize I like Rose a lot more after 10 a.m.
Things are looking up and I’m feeling good. Let the good days keep on coming!