Farewell, Machakos

So much has happened, so quickly.. it’s hard to believe that I’m already finished with PST and moving on with my life, on my own, to Siaya. It’s shocking, really, and I have such mixed emotions – sometimes I think I’m ready, other times I still feel like a tourist just dropped from the plane. I really do think I’m ready, but I’m pretty nervous and know that I will have some challenges. Duh. It will be a challenge. I’m in Kenya, ha.

I just arrived in Nairobi. Yesterday morning, the Peace Corps picked my luggage up from my home at 8:10am. They showed up while I was drinking my third cup of tea with Mami & Baba. We loaded the car with my five pieces of luggage, I cleaned my room and stuffed the last few things in my little back pack from Pac-Sun that has become my most prized possession. Sara met me at the house and took a few pictures of me with Jen & Mami, then we left. It was hard. I appreciate them so much, and everything they have done for me. It was such an amazing experience. They really opened their home and their hearts to me, and it’s an experience that will never be forgotten, and it really helped me grow as a person. I know we will keep in touch.

After leaving home, Sara and I met Claire and walked into town. Sara and I went to the market and picked up two new skirts I had made – just for me! They are true Kenyan fashion. I picked out the fabric earlier this week and they took my measurements – and voila! I’m practically a Kenyan. Ha. One was supposed to be blue and gold tie dye, but apparently that didn’t work out… for unknown reasons… but when I came to pick them up, it was mulberry and gold. Oh well, it’s still made for me. I love it. I will get a blue and gold mountaineer one later.

Then we went to class for about an hour, which was a waste. We cleaned the room. Blah. Last day and we are cleaning a classroom, but at least it was the last time. We met at the Tea Tot afterwards and had a free lunch (Thanks Peace Corps!) then hung out in our rooms for the rest of the day. That afternoon, Sara and I went back to the market because we have been so busy we can’t stand having nothing to do. I bought a handmade basket/bag that has a name I don’t really know. We bought some passionfruits and wandered around town aimlessly for a while before going back to the TOT to watch “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” It was such a taste of home, I forgot little things about home. It was kind of shocking to watch, actually. It made me homesick, and at the same time, glad I was not home. But I loved it and copied 5 episodes from Sara to watch once I get to site. Nice way to end the night, last night in Machakos.

Today, we woke up and had group breakfast, followed by packing – again. Our families arrived at the TOT around 11 for our Host Family Appreciation Ceremony & Luncheon. My family, much like my American family, showed up an hour late. But they only missed tea, so it was alright. A little awkward to be the only one sitting at my own table in the dining room, but glad they showed up. We then had a nice ceremony with a few goofy skits and a speech, followed by a nice lunch. My family has been so kind and accepting, just unbelievably generous. I love them. I really thought I wouldn’t have any difficulty leaving them, but it was tough. The hard part was just trying to tell them how much I appreciate them and everything they have done for me. I still don’t know if they realize how their generosity has impacted me. It will stick with me forever.

After lunch, we began packing the matatu with our mountain of luggage. Then we hit the road to Nairobi. Here I am, back at Afralti – where it all began. We made a full circle, and now I’m supposedly ready to live on my own. I think I am, I’m just nervous about the unknown. Just like I was before I came to Kenya – getting ready to take a leap, but this time I’m a little more prepared. Or a lot more prepared. Yeah, I’d say a lot. I know how to bathe from a bucket, how to cook a Kenyan meal, how to poop in a choo. That says it all. I’m basically Kenyan already.

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