Greetings from Kenya! My name is Genoveva and I am the leader of the Kenya Teaching Internship Program this summer. My experience with the interns so far has been wonderful, but I’ll let them tell their stories below. They are all incredible individuals with amazing gifts. I am so thankful to be growing and learning by their side.
The past two weeks in Kenya have been a whirlwind of excitement. My journey began with 2 plane rides, several movies and over 24 hours of traveling, which landed me in Nairobi. After a smooth transition through customs and baggage claim I was greeted with a warm welcome from Geno, decked out in her Global Routes T-Shirt. Karibu Kenya! We waited for the next Global Routes Intern to show up and discussed a bit about the upcoming 8 weeks of travel and teaching. The first two nights we stayed in Karen’s Guesthouse. It was a perfect place to make the transition into the country. We were able to have a quiet place to meet while being close enough to several sites we would be visiting. The first of these sites was Maasai Market. The market was incredibly beautiful and overwhelming. Shopping in such an environment was completely new. Personally, bargaining and negotiating prices is a challenge. But it was an exercise in having confidence in a foreign country.
We spent the next couple of days camping, hiking, and enjoying the beautiful flora and fauna of Kenya. This time was perfect for slowly being introduced to habits we would need to develop while living in Kenya that are unfamiliar in the United States, such as boiling/iodizing our water.
The last two days of orientation were spent in Kakamega getting familiar with the city and mentally preparing for 6 weeks of teaching and homestays.
The first week of living with my host family has been thrilling. The first weekend I spent getting to know my mother, three brothers, sister and all the neighbors who were intrigued by my presence. I helped sift through rice and green vegetables with my mom while what seemed like the entire village came to say “Melembe!” Most seemed shy at first but a few began asking me questions about the United States and why I had chose to come to Kenya.
On Monday I observed at the school where my fellow intern Sam and I would be teaching. The students were very excited by our presence and disappointed that we would not be teaching that day. The other teachers were quick to welcome us. They were laughing and joking throughout the entire day.
KARIBU KENYA!! It has been over two weeks since I have set foot on American soil. Kenya is AMAZING, from its food to its people. Every moment has been a new and exciting experience. So far we have kissed baby giraffes, slept in Lake Naivasha and Nakuru National Park, hiked up Mt. Longonot, walked through Hell’s Gate, met our host families, taught a full week, and got attacked by monkeys and baboons. It has been insane in the best way possible. One of my favorite activities is playing football (soccer) with my host brothers and their friends everyday after school. They are extremely talented! During my first two weeks in Kenya I can honestly say that I have learned so much about myself and the world around me, much more than I had ever dreamed of. Deciding to go with Global Routes to Kenya this summer has honestly been the best decision that I have ever made, and it is only the beginning!
GREETINGS! I’m all moved in and settled in my village as of Friday. I teach life skills, which includes core values, conflict and resolution, sex education, peer pressure, etc. The students start at age 14 (because younger kids don’t speak English yet) but some of them are 22-26. It has been interesting to see how schools run here, very different than in the U.S. I live across from a preschool and since most of the kids have never seen a white person before they get really excited whenever they see me. There’s one other Mzungu (foreigner) in my village. Her name is Carlyn and she’s in the Peace Corps so its nice to have her around. My host family is so great…they eat with their hands here!