Oct 072013

I am quite sorry that my updates haven’t been coming in like I had hoped to keep you all informed. I am here in Kenya and I have completed my first week. I will give you a brief update.

My flight in was a long one, not because it was 12 hours, but because of the creep I had to sit next to. If you want details ask me later. Let’s just say I felt like I needed a shower by the end of it, and not the champagne shower he provided me with by drunkenly spilling a glass of champagne all over me.

all of my luggage made it and my driver was there to pick me up. It was about midnight when I arrived and we had quite drive before getting to my host family’s home. When we got there it was close to 1am. we waited about 30-45 minutes for them to open the gate.  a girl about my age led me to my room in the back house , past a chicken coop, through a room full of rosaries, crucifixes, and pictures of Jesus and Mary (at least they were there to greet me). I was shown to my room and told goodnight. Needless to say it was a far cry from what I expected Or mentally prepared for. I felt very alone trying to figure out how to use the mosquito net (harder than you think when it has so many holes in it) and I had a restless night.

The next morning they cooked me two pieces of toast for Breakfast. I still had not been introduced to the owner of the house or any of the many people I came across. I asked for Internet so I could let my family know I had arrived. They had a street boy take me to the cyber. The Internet was down. I went back to my room and sat alone under my mosquito net feeling more alone than I had ever felt. no one could tell me when my orientation was and I had no phone to call and ask the vicda office. Finally I asked to borrow a phone. I called vidca and they told me that it had been changed to the next day so I would have another night there. That’s when I asked to transfer to a hotel. I realized I needed to not push myself too quickly in a new country and ease into the experience. That was the best decision Yet. They told me they would set me up at hotel 180… Or was it 680.. I can’t remember. They said they would send a driver at it would be 1600 shillings for the driver . The driver ended up charging 2000. But I hadnt found my voice yet to stand up for myself so I just paid and enjoyed the perks of the hotel- free wifi and ac. I later found out the driver worked for vicda. So the price shouldn’t have changed that much. that night Went to dinner at a restaurant across the street… Enjoyed some chicken skewers and some live music. I enjoyed that.

The next morning the same driver came to “pick me up” and we carried my luggage to the vicda office about 4 blocks away. There waiting like an oasis was a tired Mariana, my new roommate. She is from Mexico and had just gotten in on a flight that morning. A few minutes later Tomoyo and Lisa arrived, the other two volunteers in our orientation (they were living at the same host family). everyone was nice and excited. then orientation started. All I kept thinking was that cooper’s onboarding was much more thorough and they were hard to hear with all of the street noise. We later all discussed that none of us volunteers could catch much of what was said.

They took us shopping for our necessities. Again later we discussed and all felt like they took us to their friends’ shops who charged us waaaaaay to much. This is a common theme I have seen here in Kenya… There is always a way to make extra money out of a new inexperienced mizungo (white person).

finally we separated and Mariana and I were taken to Daylove orphanage. There we were greeted by a girl named Gemma, from Australia And a house mom named Pauline. Thank goodness Gemma was there otherwise we would have been lost. Mariana was exhausted so she took a nap and meanwhile I went through  An eye opening orientation with Gemma. She had been here since february and she had a ton of insight. Her first trip here she went through GVN and this second long trip was on her own. She was a wealth of knowledge and a saving grace to teach me who and what to be careful of.

Later that night we met our other roommate, Chris from chile. He had Been at a futbol match and was also very sweet and helpful. He took me to meet the kids and theN I really enjoyed myself and settled in.

The next morning we discovered that there wasn’t a schedule we had to follow and met the kids that come onsite for private school there. they are high school and preschool kids. They were sugar first and had a hard time learning my name so now I go by mere here.

There is so much to still tell you but Mariana is waiting on me ( wifi is only at the mall) so I love you all and send hugs your way!


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