Thousands of impressions

24 Jul

Life here is so crazy… every day hundreds of small things happen and I could write them down the whole night. But I prefer to sleep at night 😉
I want to give you some examples of situations happening to me in the last (my first 3!!) days. Maybe you can understand that life here is not boring at all but challenging me every second.

Talking about the characteristics of animals and letting the kids give examples for mammals I again recognized that this kenyan accent is really hard for me to understand. For me, a “bird” is not a mammal, for them, a “bat” is. Learning new special vocabulary during teaching them is really amazing… carnivores (Fleischfresser), layers (Legehennen) as contrary to beef poultry, dairy cows… come on, thats science in class 4!

Although the conductors are shouting the destination of the matatu all the time, its really hard to make it out. There is that accent and then the noise on the street: Usually the matatu drivers use their horn to signal that they are waiting for passengers, the conductors are shouting in a language mix. Before I get in I usually ask again whether its the correct one, the next one to leave and for the price. This time he hugs me and says “I love smart girls. And you are the smartest”. Allright 🙂

Sitting in the living room of a slum, no windows, only some metal separates from the neighbours, the neighbours TV is so loud that we hardly understand each other. The entrance to the living room is through a hallway where on the floor the used water from the whole block flows out to the street (no drain tubes or canalization here…) and washed clothes are hung up to dry.

Two of the girls thank us that we came to help them and said that they appreciate everything we did. One of them nearly cried when explaining the bad situation of (especially) girls in a slum. Early pregnancy, abortion, drug abuse, no education, dependance from men, no job opportunity or money to start a business, bad hygiene conditions (no running water, no tampons or towels for menstruation) etc etc. In the end I didn´t feel bad because of the described situation but because they were so thankful although we hadn´t done anything until now apart from booking a flight and coming to Nairobi.

Just returning from the slum yesterday I was thinking about about the ladies there, about how blessed I am as a “rich white girl” and my next projects there to support them somehow I am stopped by advertisers who want to convince me of a safari tour. “You don´t want to see these beautiful animals?” I had forgotten, that I am just another rich mzungu walking through the city during his holidays.

From the bus stop from my slums to university it is around 1,5 – 2 km walking. As the city is really jammed during the day everybody including me walks zig-zag lines between the busses (better breath through a scarf, no Feinstaubgesetze here in Nairobi). Still every single taxi driver I pass by asks me to get into his car. How senseless… I have to learn “Walking is faster, thank you” in Swahili!!

We three international girls on the project seem to be very different from each other. Ariel is very quiet and prefers to work with children. Di loves to be effective and structured, direct communication and would like to leave out the teaching part. And then me as I want as much projects as possible and have loads of ideas to work with the kids, youth and also their parents or guardians. They will leave at the end of August which means we have to start with our projects very soon.

When I come home around 8pm the family has dinner together. Sallys mum usually has 7-9 bowls of different food on the table (for that I call it the evening buffet), whereas s. I am really tired in the evening but still there are 100 things to talk about and my host parents and I usually end up in political or family value discussions which are very very interesting but still even more tiring.

OK, gotta go now. I will try to meet some of the Entrepreneurship (YES) and HIV (ASK) project interns for ideas. This afternoon I have another meeting of the trainers for the AIESEC conference in August and tonight I will go to the Goethe institute where they show short films from rwanda. Have a good day 🙂

Here you see 2 pics of my new sister Sally and one of a meeting with AIESECers and interns at university.

One Response to “Thousands of impressions”

  1. ML June 20, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Hi there,
    I’m a Canadian AIESECer and I’m trying to decide if I should go on an internship with the Upendo Rescue Centre in Mukuru, Nairobi. I was searching it up on the Internet and I accidentally found your blog 🙂 Thanks for your informative post!
    I see that you’ve worked in Kenya for a while. Would you mind if you could send your email to mine so I could ask you a few questions about living and working in Mukuru? Thank you so much! 🙂

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