Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just for some giggles

So folks, I’ve been at site for a little over a week now, and I thought I would share with you some of the funnier moments of my being here- don’t worry I won’t be offended if you laugh at me- I have definitely found laughter to be the best medicine

Questions from my students on the first day of lessons:

Is there grass in America?
Are there trees in America?
Is your hair real? If so, can I buy it and make a weave?
You’ve had hair like that since you were born?!?!?!?!
When was the last time you shaved your head? (girls at my school must shave their heads for equality reasons)
If you live here for two years, will you be as dark as me? (my response : maybe, if I don’t wear sunscreen and want skin cancer!)
If I go to America, will my skin become as light as yours?
In America, does everyone look like you?
Why are your lips so much thinner than ours? (Hmmm, good question)
Are there fat white people?
In America, do people pay Africans to brush their dog’s teeth? (My response: No, but some people do brush their dog’s teeth. I told them about the chicken flavored toothpaste Tootsie used to have and they thought it was the strangest thing ever!)

Comments from other Kenyans:
“By Kenyan standards, you are old! You should be married with 3 children right now. Kenyans will laugh at you because you are not married. Get married tomorrow!”- the bike taxi man
“Can you see the sun in America?”- Biology teacher at my school

Embarrassing moments:
-Tucking my skirt into my underwear- in front of my entire host family
-Completely misunderstanding things on a daily basis (Kenyan English is not the same as American English. For example, alight and fullstop have been added to my vocabulary)
-Attempting to carry water on my head= epic fail. I walked into a tree branch knocking the water all over my face, body, everywhere!

Anyways, hope some of these moments made you smile. I will be sending try to update more often, but I’ve been quite busy! Actually, things just take me a lot longer to do than a Kenyan. For instance, getting water takes up a good portion of my time. With the skill of carrying water on one’s head (which 5 year olds can do here) walking with water would be much easier. However, for the uncoordinated, like myself, balancing 20 liters on your head can be a huge task. So I have to resort to carrying small buckets back and forth from the pump to my house. Other things that take awhile- washing clothes (no spin cycle here!), washing dishes (my least favorite chore), cooking (seriously, be thankful you have a microwave), and walking (not complaining here, but everyone on the street greets me and shakes my hand- it takes soooo long to get from point A to point B here). My days are long, starting before dawn and ending much after dark. But being busy has kept me energetic and not homesick.
For those of you reading this, I cannot thank you enough for your positive encouragement. I really appreciate your kind words and inspirational thoughts. In addition, I have had many requests for a way to donate to my school. I am currently in the works of drafting a fundraising email- so check your inboxes soon.
Much love and smiles,
Jenny

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