Monday, July 12, 2010


Dear friends and family,
Sorry I have not been updating you all lately. To be honest, I haven't been as happy here as I used to be and I don’t want to bore you with my complaints about the little things that annoy me and have me wishing I could teleport back to California. It’s the little things that add up over time, making me burst out in an angry rage at the smallest provocations. I’m now used to the lack of running water, inconsistent electricity, and lower standards of personal hygiene. But what really gets to me is the everyday occurrences ( people always asking me for things, or assuming I have a ton of money, or calling me mzungu (I have a name!) )that truly get to me.

I also think my frustration stems from the fact that I feel like I’m not doing enough here. Sometimes the problems just seem too enormous to even fathom conquering. For instance, when I first arrived and school fees seemed to be a major issue, with your help, we were able to at least partly solve that problem. However, when you add the other common struggles of hunger, rape, gender inequality, AIDS related deaths and so many other awful consequences of poverty, it makes conquering any task seem impossible. I understand that I’m not here to change the world, or even change Kenya, but is it too much to ask to be able to change something?

Maybe it’s my own expectations that create this discrepancy between what I can and cannot do. I knew coming here that I was going to be a teacher and that was going to be a full time job. However, some days, I feel like I should be doing so much more than just teaching. It’s been six months that I’ve been at site now and I feel like I should have more to show. I realize that education is not immediately tangible, but I still have a hard time grasping just how measurable of a success my time is supposed to be here.

I’m not regretful about my choice to join the Peace Corps, I guess I’m just at a stage where re-evaluation is necessary. I’m taking a few mental health days in town to get a massage, maybe a manicure or a movie, and definitely taking some time to think about what I want from this experience, what is indeed feasible, and what will make me happy.