I’ve tried starting a few of these this past month, however none of them made it to the page (as you can see). Finally I feel as though things are stabilizing enough that I have some foresight into my near future. Even if it is only a few weeks of foresight, it is definitely better than it was about a week ago!
So, if you’ve been watching the news you will already know that Kenya just recently had their presidential elections. Kenya’s previous presidential elections (stated lightly) didn’t go so well. Peace Corps actually evacuated all volunteers. So, this time around they took every precaution necessary to make sure we were ready for anything. A few days before the big event we were all (100+) consolidated near Machakos (where I lived for my 2 months of training). We were to prepare ourselves for an evacuation, pack up our homes, say goodbye and explain to our communities that we didn’t know if we would be coming back or not…not the easiest thing to go through. What caused a lot of stress and anxiety in the beginning however turned out to be really wonderful and unique experience for Peace Corps volunteers. I got to meet all of the volunteers in country! And what an amazing group of people! We kept ourselves busy by having committee meetings, collaborating, and doing planning for upcoming trainings. We hosted our own PC Kenya Olympics and other events (which I was quite impressed with, we are a talented group!) All of that, along with good company and relaxing pool time, it was a very nice vacation. I can’t say that I would feel the same way about all of it if it weren’t for the Kenyan people keeping the peace and letting all of us enjoy ourselves. We had meetings twice a day, morning and evening and I can’t begin to tell you how my stomach would knot before every single one, waiting to hear something terrible had happened. But it didn’t!! So, even though Kenya may not have made the most logical choice of President… I am proud and so happy to still be here!
I am now back at site, had my first day of school on Friday. I was walking up during assembly; the kids and teachers all silently looking upwards towards the raising flag. When one student notices me walking up and starts a commotion, she starts clapping and so do the rest of the students…Yes, my students gave me a round of applause! The teachers looked at me expectantly, like this was some American thing I had taught the kids to do and I was meant to do something in return… I just stared back at them with an equally confused look. Clearly my kids are still working on expressing their excitement when I show up after a period of absence. A few of my girls did hug me after assembly and my little kids fought over who got to hold my hand and braid my hair for the rest of the day. I’ve never been happier to have my hair pulled out or my hand held by little grubby fingers all day.
At the end of consolidation our Country Director started announcing some of the “Big Upcoming Events”. The last one announced was our COS (Close of Service)…Hard to believe! I've been hit with some perspective and I will be soaking up every last moment I have here.