Though the updates may have seen few and far in between, the incredible experiences on our course since the last update have not been. We continue to stay safe and happy while our eyes are opened to this wonderful country. Since the last update, we’ve visited a private Kenyan university and talked to a peace group, continued to work on the goat pens and gardens at the Armani Community Home, and even took part in an overnight homestay in the rural town of Chugu.
Eating with the peace group at Kenyan Methodist University (KEMU) was one of the highlights of the course, as we were able to talk to university students about how much we had in common, including interests in TV shows, music, and academia. As we sat around a campfire, two students explained to us the origin of their group as a result of the post-election violence and the unity that it brought the school in a time of such conflict.
However, the most incredible experience for many of us was the homestay. The humble people of this village opened their doors and allowed us to stay with them for one night as they proudly showed us their way of living, mostly as humble farmers. There was much laughter and even some tears between the time we met and the time we parted. For many, we spent the evening with them trying to overcome the language barrier, drinking about 13 cups of tea (Greg Mortensen’s got nothing on us), and chatting with the extended families of our hosts. In the morning, we attended a church service at Chugu secondary school, and then went to the classrooms of the students where they asked us about the American education system and many other aspects of our lives.
Later, we traveled to the Ripples Orphanage, which has taken in 40 children up to the age of 3 that have been orphaned, particularly by HIV/AIDS. For me personally, holding a baby was the furthest yet I had to travel outside of my comfort zone, and a huge pit would form in my stomach every time I would think of dropping them (I didn’t). To see what the orphanage was able to do for these children, who would normally be left to die, was incredible. We continue to be safe and happy, and having the experience of our lives.