Many of you have asked for pictures of my community, students, school etc. In Kenya, internet usage is charged by the megabyte so from my personal modem it is too expensive to upload pictures. However, now that I am in town, I can put up a few pictures. Enjoy!
Here are some of my students at their morning assemble. They are singing the Kenyan pledge of allegiance. Most schools in Kenya require uniforms and shaved heads for equality purposes as many cannot afford to upkeep their hair.
These are some of my Form 3 students working on a group project about Classification. The concept of group work is very new to them. Numbering off in small groups took nearly half a lesson!
Here are some of my Form 2 students preparing for their Biology Exam that they took yesterday. They did "well" on their first CAT (continual assessment tests)with an average score of 14/30. The scoring in Kenya is a bit different (a 70% is considered an A for science and math subjects). I am really working on developing their critical thinking skills. Many Kenyan students are so used to rote memorization, rather than understanding concepts. So we do fun activities in class like games, plays, songs, dances, and hands on activities to help them really comprehend the material.
Here is a picture of my house (with a baby cow whose pies I have to carefully avoid every morning. It is very large for one person. I have two bedrooms (one I've converted into my reading/yoga room), a giant living room (which the nyanya so kindly furnished with furniture straight out of That 70s Show), a kitchen (with a gas stove which is so much easier to cook with than charcoal), and a storage room where I cook. My bathroom and choo are outside. I am very comfortable in my home and am so thankful for the amenities that I have (most other volunteers do not have electricity) .
And here are some cute Kenyan children that I met on my walk to school one day. There are tons of adorable children everywhere I go. It may be difficult for me to return to the states without one......
And here is a picture from the funeral I attended. This is the first day of the funeral in which the body is brought back to the rural home. There is a procession of vehicles that followed the body from Kisumu. The cars honk and mourners wave tree branches out of the window. Once back to the rural home, community members wail and scream and cry for a few hours. Then they dance, sing, eat, and drink to celebrate a life well lived.
These are some pictures from before I came to my site. This is me with my host family on my last day in Loitokitok. I have them to thank for my warm welcome to the country.
This is my adorable host brother, Morris, at the Peace Corps’ host family appreciation lunch. Most Kenyans don’t smile in pictures (for what reason I don’t know), but I taught him the American “cheese” said for picture taking. He has a big smile like me!
Here are my friends, Christine and Whitney, eating sushi (yes, sushi!) in Nairobi. It's amazing how much I miss food! There is not much variety in foods here (mostly maize consumed in all shapes and forms)and some seasonal fruits and vegetables. Eating things like sushi, pizza, hamburgers and ice cream is such a luxury.
This was at our swearing in ceremony at the ambassador’s house on January 6th. This is when we officially became Peace Corps volunteers. This is me and a yummy cake to celebrate 45 years of service in Kenya.
Three of the volunteers from our training class were chosen to write and give our swearing in speech. Brian gave it in English, Shannon gave it in Kenyan Sign Language, and I gave it in Kiswahili. We spoke about the challenges, embarrassing moments, and memorable times that we had throughout pre-service training. (Sorry, I don't know how to rotate this picture!)
Kenya Channel 24 broadcasted part of the ceremony. Here I am on the national evening news!
This is me and my supervisor Matilda at our swearing in ceremony. She is the principal at my school and is an AMAZING woman. She does great things for the students and is so dedicated to her work. She is my life role model.
And here are my closest Peace Corps friends. They’re great and keep me laughing all the time.
Ok, I hope you enjoyed seeing some snapshots of my life here in Kenya. I will try to put up more soon, but slow and expensive internet makes it difficult (this took me almost two hours!) Hope you are all doing well, update me when you get a chance. I really enjoy hearing about the "real world!"