One full week of living the life of a Kenyan has passed by. And I have really learned a lot. A typical day for me is waking up at 6:30 (everyone else wakes up at 5am!), I take a bucket bath, eat chapati (like a tortilla mmmmmmmm!) and some fruit and drink chai (tea). Then, during the week, I have Kiswahili class from 8 am to noon. My language teacher, Mugo, is amazing and incorporates lots of different learning styles into our classes. For instance, we went to the market and learned about asking for prices, bargaining, and types of food.
After language class, I have lunch with some other Peace Corps volunteers in town. There are a few restaurants that I’ve tried so far- but watamu na chapati (beans and chapati) is my favorite meal. Then, in the afternoon I have cultural or technical training with the whole Peace Corps group. We’ve learned about the Kenyan school system which is MUCH different from ours and will begin observing classroom teaching on Monday. After a long day, I walk home to my host family house and study for a bit. My host sister, Maureen, has been a big help in teaching me Kiswahili. They are so nice and have been very helpful in teaching me everything I need to know in order to eventually live on my own.
I’ve learned how to get my water for my bucket bath, purify my water (which is such a process it takes almost an hour of filtering and stirring!), cook githeri (maiz and beans), make chapati, and , finally, I have mastered peeing in a choo! (This may be my biggest accomplishment of the week!). And, my Kiswahili is slowly coming along. I can easily greet people and am beginning to pick up words in conversation….not bad for one week! This week has been a learning process, and as a popular Kenyan saying goes, it will all come together, hatua kwa hatua (step by step)..