Applications closed for 2024.

B.L.I.S.S. High School



06th of July, 2019


Kenya '19

July 5th started just like any other day. We woke up bright and early at 6:45 and prepared for our day. We proceeded to Tiriji where we engaged in a group yoga session (and for me a very inflexible 17 year old boy I watched in awe as our instructor and the majority of my group easily contorted their bodies and completed the tasks while I struggled to touch my toes with my knees bent). But I digress, after yoga and breakfast we continued our construction project: placing mortar, digging holes for the scaffolding, and evening out the exterior dirt to prepare the soon to be patio/porch. After personally spending a good hour of my time digging a forearm deep hole with a machete I gratefully accepted our amazing lunch at Tiriji.

After our lunch we prepared ourselves for our excursion of the day to B.L.I.S.S. high school. Upon our arrival we were methodically split up into age groups: form 4 for the seniors, form 3 for juniors, form 2 for sophomores, and so on. I was quickly ushered into a religion class (something I am very unprepared for) and found myself, along with Caitlin, in a cramped room full of kids my exact age. I exchanged glances and smiles across the room as the teacher slowly traversed the aisles lecturing and then suddenly she left. Caitlin and I sat in shock as the teacher left and the student turned their eyes to us — waiting for us to start teaching the large class. We hesitantly walked up to the front of the class and stood awkwardly as the tens of seniors stared back. Lucky for us a student took charge and asked a question about America: when do you become an adult? I explained the complicated laws about how we could drive before we could vote and we could serve our country before we could drink. Slowly tensions broke down and the next thing I knew I was learning traditional Kenyan dances in front of the entire class and Caitlin was singing and being sung to by the entire class. It took a few moments for the barriers of language and culture to break down but it made me realize the simple fact that we were all teenagers who shared the goal of going to university and being successful individuals.

I left the high school with contact information of myriad of students and a new understanding of how students my age in Kenya viewed America, high school, and the world.



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