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The Journey Home


Kenya Crew

04th of July, 2023



Today started like any normal day. We woke up, ate breakfast, and did our permaculture work. My group finally finished the metal sheet fencing while the other group weeded a bit and finished up composting any beds we did not finish. We then took our group photos with our SStS shirts. Then, we had teatime. After that, we had an odd schedule. We finished our work early, so we had half of our expected meeting before lunch. We all wrote thank you notes to the adults and some of the KACH kids that played important roles behind the scenes. We ate lunch, I lost at pool, and then we finished up our meeting by talking about travel logistics and cleaning and packing up our rooms. We had a bunch of down time/room cleaning time (I finished up my book), met again to do some reflection and talk about what we learned, and then we took a hike to a place we have hiked to a few times, we watched the sunset again, and took some of our last photos. We came back, went to KACH to eat dinner (chapati, lentils, rice, beef stew, a salad, and some mixed fruit (apples, oranges, pineapples, watermelons) for dessert), then we had a bonfire.

A quote I go by throughout my life is “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” and every time I try to appreciate what I have, whenever everything is gone, there are other smaller things I still miss. I expected to miss playing with the KACH kids, working in the morning, teatime to mark a break in our work, losing at pool daily to the likes of Kelvin, Patrick, Roeser and literally anybody else who wanted to play, and even having Tommy and Leaf, the dogs around. But there are much smaller things I never thought I’d miss. The food will be very different back at home and it will be tough to readjust, I will walk by different landmarks when I go walking (God’s Favour Milk Bar, the black iron gate to someone’s yard, the dirt roads leading up to my homestay home, and every other small things I see), smashing the moths in my bathroom because the window wouldn’t close, the thorns I’d pick out of my socks and shorts from plants, and many other things.

Throughout the bonfire, many different announcements and activities happened. First, we all got friendship bracelets for all the kids (Courtesy of Amelia and her friends, both in SStS and not), then we got red, white, and blue glow-stick bracelets celebrating the fourth of July we would not have the chance to celebrate. Then, we all picked one or two (or in some people’s case, many!) friends where we would say something we learned from them. My friend was Emmanuel (the kid, not the adult) and I said I learned to have a new appreciation for art because of him and he said he learned courage from me. Dr. K gave a speech about how now that we know each other, we are all welcome back to Tiriji and KACH, as well as talking about how stereotypes about Africa and America are not true, and we can all attest to that now that we have been together for two weeks. Finally, to close out the circle, we all got gifts. I went first and got a blanket that was missing the keychain that was promised to be in there, but Jim found it. We moved inside because of the rain, but we finished our ceremony. (Our friends gave us the gift and said something they appreciated about us. Emmanuel said he appreciated how I understood a lot of things.) I felt bad that he was not really giving me a gift, so I gave him half of the gum I had in my pocket and told him I appreciated how easy he was to talk to and even if there was nothing to talk about, we would just chill.

The walk home in the rain was emotional for a lot of people, but we made it and went to bed early.



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