A Reflection of my Time in Kenya
I am not going to lie, I have been putting off writing on my blog since I left Kenya. This is going to be a brutally honest post about what I went through, experienced, and feel about my time in Kenya.
It hasn't been easy transitioning back home to normal life. It's hard to live with all the amenities I have. I mean, I had just spent one month in the worst slum in the world. I had spent school days in the heat teaching children who were starving. I would walk home through a city covered in trash and human feces, to a little house to bucket shower and eat beans and rice every meal. Every morning was an internal conflict. I had to push myself to put on a brave face for these children. My mornings almost always started with crying, then giving mysel f a pep talk. They went along the lines of "Kelly these kids need you, think of everything you have back home", kind of speil. I felt so guilty for everything I have, and for everything they don't have. I had to remind myself this is all they've ever known, they don't know any different.
But as I come back here, back home, with my running water, my house, my school, and more importantly food, I feel as though I am not enough. Pablo Picasso once said to "be the change you wish to see in the world." I took that very personally whenever I endeavor into any volunteer work.
It's just hard, I came home a new person. Quite frankly more depressed. I feel as though I am not worthy for all the goods I have in my life. The people over in kibera work so hard for so little. and what do I do? I'm a grumpy teenager who thinks her sister hates her, school is tough, and I want a boyfriend. What I am going through is not even close to struggling in their eyes. They are over there without adement clothing, housing, education, medical attention, and adequate governing powers.
It's hard to forget everything I saw. All the sorrow and all the pain. I find myself thinking what is my 5th grade class doing right now, how is my host mom? I constantly wonder about the health care and well-being of all the kids at Global One. I mean, I was at a health clinic were children having yellow fever and malaria and worms were normal. A couple other volunteers and I had to carry a little boy to a medical clinic because he was having seizures and the teachers didn't know what to do. I had over half of my students asked me in between class and after school if I could bring them food and water because porridge at school was the only meal they got. I saw men and women and children begging for clothes, food, even soap. I could practically feel the depression in the air, that would constrict me everyday as I walked. I would look around in silence taking in just people's facial expressions. You could tell by the bags under their eyes and their hollow faces just how hungry and sick they were. Many people in kibera had AIDS or HIV and we're dying, if it wasn't one of them it was either yellow fever or malaria. It was easy to pick out the ones who did have yellow fever, that was majority of the population, still skinny and withered away but their eyes were very yellow almost like a watered-down lemonade with red rims. The hungry and sick dogs have no homes. The starving children have no salvation. The government has no Keystone.
Those of you who are reading this I know this is all over the place and nothing is well-thought-out, sorry to my English teacher who's probably reading this. I just have been putting this off for so long, it is very emotional.
I have to remind myself I'm going back, I am helping people. it's just hard to view a sense of normalcy after what I was in. The whole different kind of living, it's a whole different mindset. I feel so numb as a teenager now. I honestly want to yell at my friends were complaining about dumb stuff like the Wi-Fi being slow, or parents getting the wrong flavor of ice cream.
I just feel numb. I wake up, I go to school, I do homework, go to bed. I like to think of it as Kelly's art of depression. A rut I'm stuck in.
At least over there in Kenya I was making a difference, helping. Now I'm a robot, the student. I would love nothing more than to feel what I felt over in Kenya. The feeling of overwhelming exuberance. the feeling that I matter. My time in Kenya may have been a once in a life time, but that is not enough for me, I am going back. As selfish as it sounds, to help myself and find self worth and my purpose, but more importantly to help the children in Kibera,
but I know where my happiness lies. my happiness lies in Kenya.
If you would like to donate for my second Kenya trip in May you can donate at https://www.fundandseek.com/bringschooltokibera