Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What I've learned from 3 months in Kenya

Sometimes I forget how crazy it is that I just up and moved to Kenya for a while. I no longer feel like a tourist. I know my way around and what the prices of things at the market should be. A small source of pride for me :)

I thought I'd just give a little reflection of what I've learned and gotten out of my life here so far...

-Nobody really keeps time. It is both frustrating and refreshing not having to stress down to the minute on every little thing.

-Kenyans can be really, really kind and helpful...or the exact opposite.

-We have it so, so good in Canada. Even if you don't think you do, you do.

-Kenya/Africa is not what you might think of it if you haven't been here. People here wear the same clothes Canadians wear for the most part. There are tons of wealthy people. And I'm pretty sure only the !Kung of the Kalahari in South Eastern Africa have clicks in their language.

-If you knew half the stuff that went on here regularly, you'd be outraged. Things fly here that would be front page news back home.

-Not that it matters to a health role model such as myself (ha.), but Coca Cola is making a huge profit from North Americans. You can get a 300ml soda here for 30 cents.

-If you've emailed me, commented on/read my blog, or skyped with me while I've been here I appreciate it so, so much. You guys are real friends and I love you for it.

-I really, really miss Kraft Dinner. I barely ate it at home, but at least there I had the option.

-I usually forget I'm foreign until a watoto (children) shout it at me. Or adults. Yes, that happens.

-Foodsafe is non-existent.

-Neither is road safety.

-You have the ability to make a difference. You don't need to make a Bill Gates sized donation or be an Angelina Jolie type of advocate. You can split a child sponsorship with a friend or volunteer once a week helping someone out in an area of your interest.

-Nobody listens to Westlife at home, but they are so popular here.

-For the down payment on a place in Victoria, you can buy a beautiful apartment here. I'm considering it.

-Some people see poverty and struggle as a reason to not believe in any religion. I'm starting to see it the opposite way. If a person in Kibera can thank God for what they've been given, I feel obliged to super extra double thankful for what I've been given.

-Tetley tea, KD Easy Mac and Purdys chocolates are almost always special occasion items. I have a cup of tea, a bowl of mac and cheese, and a hedgehog waiting for me for on my birthday.

-There are people who will treat you well in life and people you won't. If somebody isn't, stand up for yourself...if somebody is, don't let them go.

-I'm thankful to have had my family around to show me the ropes about life. This is how to do long division, this is how you get a drivers license. Not everyone has that.

-I'd rather take the matatu than drive here. There are so, so many horrible roundabouts. And horrible drivers.

-Please remind me not to haggle when I get back to Canada ('$5 for this grande latte? Ha, I'll give you 50 cents'). I'm worried that this will actually happen.

-I have yet to be robbed since I've been here (minus the case of the missing jeans from the clothesline). I feel proud.

-I really won the lottery by being born in Canada, by having my awesome family, and by having a group of friends who are so wonderful.

-I really, really love Africa.

Asante sana,



  1. I am so proud of you shorty, you are doing amazing things and you come such a long long way little sis