Here are just a few pictures from my last week with my kids. Tomorrow is my official last day with them, so I will have more pictures then. But in the meantime, enjoy these ones!
As the end of my service approaches, what am I thinking?
Hey folks! Check out my latest – and possibly my last – project as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya. It’s not completely finished yet, but it’s a good start for recruiting new students and sharing the latest news from Nina. Enjoy 🙂
As my time in Kenya dwindles down, I’m starting to get a bit frenzied about last minute accomplishments and projects. I’ve been devoting quite a bit of time to our milk cows, milking in the mornings before school, and in the afternoons I try to find an hour to teach crocheting and bracelet making, as well as just spending time with the little ones. It’s hard, getting ready to say goodbye. I mean it’s never easy…. but I guess this one feels odd because I have known for so long that this was coming, but I always felt like I had so much time. Welp, guess what? I don’t! And like my mom pointed out, there’s never really a GOOD time to say goodbye, and there are always going to be things I wish I had just a little more time to accomplish… but overall, I would say I’m pretty content with what I’ve been able to accomplish and learn here. I stand by my earlier post claiming that Kenya has changed me more than I could ever dream to change it, and these people have shaped me into a different, new Kelsey. I know I’m leaving a print here, but little do they know how they are leaving a print on me. I’m really going to miss these people!
So, if you want to get technical, I have 24 days remaining as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I officially complete my service on December 6, 2013. My friend is coming to meet me in Kenya on December 11, and we are leaving Kenya together on December 15. Before coming home, we are going to visit Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand – spending about a month amongst the three. My ETA in America is January 11.
What next? Don’t ask. Please… I beg you. That’s the one question that is sure to evoke panic in any near-RPCV (myself especially included). Your guess is as good as mine. I have cast my line in a few different ponds, so we’ll see what happens. The possibilities are endless. That’s the best part about this experience, possibly… the doors it opens for the rest of your life. I’ve had experiences that just can’t be replicated, and can’t be explained or understood, and it changes things – especially perspective. I can’t wait to see what falls into my lap next.
Anyways, let me leave you with some recent pictures. Since the end is coming closer and closer, I’m getting more comfortable asking people to take a picture of ME. So here are a few, from a harambee (fundraising) I went to with Mr. Ambalo and Mr. Sirawa at a special school for mentally impaired children (maybe not politically correct? I didn’t choose those words.)
The road connecting my house to civilization. About 15km of this lies between Nina and Siaya.
The path I follow for my afternoon walks, which also leads to my local market. It’s a tight squeeze when the cattle come through!
The traditional Luo hut – one of many lining the roads in my village. I pass this hut every day on my daily afternoon walks.
Fresh fish from Lake Victoria! This one was bought in Ugunja, with Dorine. They flash fry it before spreading them out in the open air market. Once it’s sold, they wrap it in newspaper and tuck it in your purse. I cooked it with onions and tomatoes, like a stew. Delish!
One of the biggest perks of living in the village – fresh produce! Okra from my own garden, avocados from the tree shading my house, potatoes from Dorine, lemons and tomatoes from local mamas, brought to me by Stephen.
Deworming day at Nina! Here, little Alvin is taking his deworming tablet with a gulp of water.
Cooking mandazi (donuts) in our school kitchen. All of our school food is cooked over these small fires, with 3 large stones supporting the sufurias (cooking pots). Can’t wait to show off my cooking skills around the campfire when I get back!
Another shot of me cooking up a storm in our school kitchen. You can see on the left, water is boiling for tea for the kids. The two buckets have water for cooking, which was collected from the borehole about 100m from the kitchen.
The eternally beautiful Dorine – in her house, after she cooked a lovely lunch for Daisy and I.
Miss Daisy, ready to dig-in to Dorine’s famous dengu & chapati.
Post-Lunch makeover for little Suzy in Dorine’s house.
One of my all time favorite pictures – Dorine’s nephew and sister, relaxing in the shade of one of the houses in her family compound.
Admiring newborn baby, Beryl. Notice that she is just laying on the couch – no one is holding her. This is one major difference I’ve noticed between Kenyan and American cultures. In America, the baby is passed from one visitor to the next, with little or no time left alone. Here in Kenya, it’s typical for the baby to relax on the couch while visitors take turns admiring from a distance.
Is there anything this woman can’t do? Our housemother, Anjeline, plaiting Lavenda-tall (we have 2 Lavenda’s – known as Lavenda small and Lavenda tall) during her free time.
One of the school’s fabulous cooks, Joyce, shredding sukuma for the kids’ dinner. In the background you can see the pot used for cooking an enormous ugali and the dishrack.
Steve, another jack of all trades, working on cooking a monster ugali for the kids. To the right, in the yellow bucket, you can see the ground maize flour he is about to use to make the ugali.
Undoubtedly the biggest bananas I have ever seen in my life. Tons of them. Enough for everyone in my school to get one, including staff and teachers. These came from a local mama, brought directly to the school on the top of her head.
My little buddy, Paul, sporting the ‘stache. After drawing it on his face, he showed it off (to everyone’s amusement) for about an hour before asking if he could wash it off. I told him it was a tattoo, just like mine, and it wouldn’t come off. He believed me and ran away crying. When I found him, I helped him clean up and took a picture of his clean face to prove it. (He’s still my buddy, and in fact asks for a new one almost every day)