"The Californians"

After only being in Kenya for ten days, I have a much greater appreciation for my life in the US so much more. Some systems, already in place in the US, like a constant supply of running water or our waste management systems, I realize I take for granted… We ran out of water at the compound for half a day and it doesn’t sound like a lot, but water affects simple things you do every day without even thinking about, like brushing your teeth or flushing the toilet.

In America, we have weekly garbage trucks that come to every neighborhood and after that, we don’t have to worry about our trash anymore, but here, there are piles of trash on the side of the road everywhere which is burnt so it doesn’t build up too much. There is a huge garbage pile in front of the compound and the odor of burning trash is foul. I feel strongly about these problems and would like to do my part to help which is why I am so happy to be here, and to improve the school, because I truly feel like I am making a difference and that is the greatest feeling, especially being able to interact directly with the kids you are helping almost.

One of the most amazing experiences I have had so far this trip was the wedding. The ceremony itself was three hours long, and now I can say I’ve been to my first Christian wedding. During the ceremony, the Pastor welcomed us to Kenya, and called us their “white friends” or “The Californians”. The reception took place outside of the church. The food was fantastic and a very kind waiter served us. The wedding was similar to that of American weddings other than a few things… the gifts were presented to the bride and the groom and we all presented our gift, a water dispenser… the cake was cut up into small pieces and served to everybody, in the US, the bride and the groom typically feed each other the cake, but at this wedding, the bride would refuse to eat the cake and the groom would have to convince her and vice versa. The grooms’ mother was deaf and it was really cool to see the translators interpret the whole wedding for her. Overall, the wedding was an amazing experience.

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