i write this because he is the best. although he is half kenyan, that has nothing to do with it. if you don’t believe me, read his books and you too will feel that he is the best. i promise, he is the best. so do it, vote obama.
well, its been a good few months in kenya so far. but unfortunately now its all over. Peace Corps has decided to suspend the program in kenya at least until may, at which point they will reassess the security situation. for me this means i will be flying home to Connecticut friday, arriving saturday.
life in kenya is really hard, but leaving this life is the hardest thing i have done yet.
my mind is racing at all times of day and night. i can’t seem to wrap my brain around the fact that i will become a returned peace corps volunteer (RPCV) 22 months earlier than i expected. i had just began teaching and coaching volleyball, i felt like i had made a few great friends and was feeling very comfortable with my enviornment and work. it took some time to integrate and be accepted, now i feel like as soon as i did that, i am leaving. there was a lot to do, and so much more in kenya that i was looking forward to, now it seems like those goals and dreams may never be realized.
the peace corps staff is split in opinions of what will happen, some believe that this violence and insecurity will end soon and by may we will be able to return. others, who i am incined to agree with, believe that these problems are not election issues, but deep rooted tribal problems, there is no quick fix, there is no comprimise. as much as i hope kofi annan has some tricks up his sleeve to save this country, he is only a man. it will take time and devine intervention to save kenya.
if this is it for me in kenya, i still see value to my time here. i have learned so much about the world, myself, and kenya. my views of some thins really have changed and i would recommend that every american go somewhere where electricity, water and a stable government are not taken for granted. americans can learn a lot. my only regrets are that i took in so much and gave so little back. i planned on helping the people i lived with for two years, and instead was given two days notice that i would be leaving. its hard to do, but i will never forget the things i have learned, or the people i have met.
hello again, today I’m on my way to a meeting in mombasa, all of the volunteers in the coast province are meeting there, so thats most of the people left here. yesteday most of the volunteers from western, nyanza and rift valley went home, to the US. this is all but 5 or 6 of my training group. so, today is my first time leaving the village in a while, i would be lying if i said i wasn’t a bit nervous to go to mombasa, however, i am also excited, i know pizza is avaliable there, haha. today its raining which sucks because i left my jacket at my house, but is good because i’ve noticed even looters and rioters stay in when its raining. this week ODM as “Mass Action” which mean three days straight of rallies in 41 locations across kenya. i am fairly certain the police fired tear gas at all of these rallies, and i suspect bullets at some. although ODM should fight for what they believe in, it does not seem that either group is realizing the consequences of their actions, or inaction. the longer this goes on the more it will hurt the average kenyan. anyway, i saw the headline today says “ODM calls for more rallies” so hopefully these are the last, somehow i doubt it.
school opened also. school is a major challenge. The students do not speak english very well, and even those who do will need time to get used to my accent. I also am struggling with an extremely under stocked lab. i wanted to do a physics demo and i needed like 5 things, an the lab had about 1 of them. i depend on drawing on the board a lot, but really i wonder how much the students are understanding. anyway, the staff is great, although one teacher is from western and we don’t expect he will be able to travel to school fo quite some time. as much as i found school hard it wasnice to be busy also, december got too long, but the last week really flew by. ok, well i’m off to mombasa now, talk ot you all soon.
i am safe and sound, i appreciate everyone’s concern. it was strange being here during such a crazy time, but it seems to be under control now. school begins monday, which should be interesting because Kibaki announced that secondary education would be free. currently, my school Mshimba Secondary, costs 10,000 KsH a year, so many people cannot afford to go, class size was around 30 but i expect to see a large jump monday. also of interst is that kibaki may not even be president, so maybe this will only be for a week or two, i also don’t think there is much of a plan on how the government will afford to fund this. but, i will be there teaching whoever shows up. i don’t have much else to add now, i put up a page about politics if you’re interested. love you all. bob
hello all. christmas is over which i think is a good thing. this was the worst xmas ever, not that it was that bad but the previous 21 were soo good. elections were the 27th, but the results of the presidential election are not out yet, should be later today. peace corps will nto let us leave our sites until january 1st, or later. i would be lying if i said i wasn’t nervous about the state of kenya. there is violence, none near my site, and i doubt there will be, but after the president is announced i think many places will get hot. so don’t worry about me, but worry about the normal kenyan who feels the need to go to the city or to a rally today…pray for peace.
in better news. i had two other volunteers visit for xmas and its was nice to see other “mzungu”s. we enjoyed our time although at no point did it quite feel like christmas. i wish it were snowing here, i know it is in CT, but here its just hot, always hot. anyway. i am well, excited for school to begin, jan 7. and i will talk to you all later. love you all. bob
so titles are the hardest part of this blog for me.
anyway. the volunteer in Voi, greg, is helping me get the photo up finally, but its not easy with such slow internet. things are gonig well, it doesn’t seem like its almost xmas because its soo hot. i am doing my best to integrate into the community but its hard. my kiswahili is improving and so is their english. school begins january 7 and runs in three terms. Term 1 is january until march, april is a month off, term 2 is may to july, august is off, and term 3 is september to november.
i’m excited to begin teaching and to get some work done, now i’m relaxing and enjoying the scenery.
my address is box 783, Voi 80300, kenya. please send letters but not packages. packages are too expensive to pay the tariffs.
talk to you all soon.
this is a picture of me, kelly and aaron, my language group and best friends, with our three teachers, Caro, Emily and Agnes. Each taught us for three weeks during our 10 week period in Kitui. They taught us Swahili and Culture. Kitui was hot and dry and now in Msau it is hotter but now in the rain season. The bridge to our village was washed away two days ago so we wade through deep water to get places. soon i will post photos from my home Msau. until then please post questions too so i can answer them here rather than to each person indivdually.
i’ll wirte more next time now i want to figure out this photo.
love you all, merry christmas