Week 1

My first week as a volunteer, is as you would expect. Settling in.

I am lucky to have such an amazing counterpart and an American intern on the property who can show me around. The compound is a sprawling family compound that, from what I have gathered, means most of my neighbors are family. There are cows, sheep, goats, cats, dogs, and even piglets! It is a full farm, lol. For now I am sharing the small two room art house with Samir until my house is furnished for me to move in. Samir is an intern for Grow Strong from the US, he won’t be here much longer, but it is nice to have someone relatable that can show me around, and maybe we’ll get another intern after that I can show around! It is an awesome little artsy dwelling that Malaki and Amy constructed, with a larger two story house next to it. The roofs are thatched reeds so it is cooler and it has a very beachy feel to it. The bathing area is outside, which I thought was odd at first, but it is a very roomy enclosed area without a roof, so at night you bathe under the stars, haha. They have a really modern choo set up, which is essentially like a western porta potty, but uses a type of wood chips instead of water so it can be composted. My little house is a large studio with many windows, electricity, a skylight, and thatched/tin roof. I have a newly built shower area behind the house and Malaki said there is plans for my own little choo so I don’t need to walk across the compound. So far everything has been so wonderful and beyond my wildest imagination. The family is very welcoming, the area is very nice, my dwelling is better than I pictured, and I have an assortment of animals to keep me company. The next few weeks are going to test my inner explorer, because Malaki is returning to the US, but is coming back with Amy and their kids. Amy is a RPCV from Kenya and created Grow Strong, so it makes me feel closer to the project and more excited about the potential future projects. I foresee her as a great mentor during my service. I couldn’t have gotten more lucky, getting the project I wanted, amazing counterparts, comfortable living arrangements, and all the extra amenities that I wasn’t expecting- electricity, modern choo, and animals. The next two years will be epic!

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