Month 12

This month I celebrated my one year in Kenya and turned out to be fun and eventful overall. I spent the anniversary day at the mall and enjoyed some comforts of home. The day began with a trip to the coffee shop where I indulged on an iced mocha per usual and to my delight discovered the inclusion of WAFFLES on the menu. I miss waffles. Happily I savored each savory morsel that was poetically drizzled in a warm chocolate sauce and served with sliced pineapple. I wish I would have asked what they used for the batter because it was most definitely a multigrain mix and slightly nutty and oh so delicious! I took a short walk to conclude the morning and ended up at a small outdoor restaurant to continue my foodie indulgences. I satisfied myself with a crispy fish burger, fries, and a cold coke zero. I cant say my food choices were savy, but deserved and delicious as a treat for the day. To cap off my afternoon I tucked myself away into the seclusion of the movie theater and watched Maleficent, good movie. Then ended my day doing some needed shopping and splurged on a fridge!! I love my fridge. A small price for continued happiness.

The second week of the month came a surprise visit from students attending the University of Chicago. I knew JOOUST wanted me to welcome them to Bondo, I didn’t expect to tag along all week for their excursions as a cultural facilitator and sometimes translator. This is what the third goal is all about! “Helping Americans understand the people and cultures of other countries” I had the added treat of being able to do so in Kenya by giving them hands-on experience. I took them to two local restaurant, the first was more upscale, the second was my personal local hoteli where I indulged them with local dishes.

I gave them a chance to walk in my shoes and took them down my backroads to my home, showed them how I lived and then my counterparts answered some more questions ans showed them the apiary and farm plots. We went to the Food Hub and They worked alongside Young Farmers, some even doing some marketing by the road with the newly harvested veggies. Their main objective was a science symposium at the university, that I sat in on for awhile, and a visit to ISIPE – a research facility for insects on Mbita Island. Going to Mbita was my first time on an island in Lake Victoria ans on a ferry. The ride was lovely, especially in the early hours of the morning, it got rather hot in the afternoon. The research facility was interesting especially their work on malaria and combating pest problems for indigenous crops. We ended the day by mid afternoon and were back on the mainland for the last excursion of their visit befpre going back home.

Near Bondo, there is a small village that is off the beaten path but worth the visit to because a very special lady lives there. Who is this special lady you ask? She is President Obamas grandmother. You can go to her home and meet her! She is very nice ans I impressed myself by being able to hold a decent conversation in Kiswahili with her. A definite highlight of the week for sure. After bidding farewell, I stepped right back into my routines and the remainder of the month played out in the usual way.

Kenya Nyumba Yangu (My Kenya Home)

In the last year I have taken an empty, single room mud house and turned it into my cozy home. It has a certain simplicity but includes all the most important aspects for ensured comfort. I am still in the process of adding a few final touches : custom curtains, dining room table, seating, patio cushions, small indoor storage, small vanity with mirror, choo roofing, and a solar shower, but here is a visual tour of my little Kenya home.

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Love in PC

[A three part series]

This is a 3 part musing about the wonderful feeling in life we call love. Explore love in its many wonderful forms through a PCV service.  Believe it or not, this is a very complicated, but constant question asked by many; including a thorough, almost separate, application during the initial application to PC. Attempting to add some clarity to the burning question of, “how do volunteers deal with relationships during service,” I dissect what having love in PC means to me and my own experiences figuring it all out.

To begin…
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Month 10 – On the Road Home

Arriving back in Kenya from Ethiopia was an entire new set of problems. Due to increased security restriction, I was in Nairobi for the morning and then had to find a place to crash since I couldn’t in Nairobi. So began my first experience of PC couch surfing, and coming back my bags were twice as heavy and I had one extra bag due to souvenirs.

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Month 10 – On the Road

Other than when I first arrived in Kenya, with my entire life in tow, I try to pack and travel light due to complications and safety. This was my first vacation, a long vacation, and as lightly as I tried to pack I still traveled with the largest amount of luggage since my first moments here.

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Month 10

I have 16.5 months left in PC / 472 days / 71 weeks (total service: 26 months / 114 weeks / 800 days). Nearing the 1 year mark. It’s been that long already?! I am going to keep this update short, because I took my first vacation and not much happened in terms of PC. However, I did manage to squeeze a few projects in before and after my vacation.

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Month 9

This month has been a total drag. My mind has been dreamily focused on my April vacation. However, it wasn’t all bad. I have 17.5 months left in PC / 502 days / 76 weeks (total service: 26 months / 114 weeks / 800 days). Time is vanishing!! The month began well. During the second week I attended a regional meeting in Kisumu with other PCVs, at the most Posh-Corps accommodations yet!

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