Sunday, April 18, 2010

“Why am I always losing stuff?”

In preparation for the trip to Kenya, Jen and Dave Bell, the team leaders, held several meetings for the team, at the Life Promotions office in Appleton. This gave us a chance to meet some of the other people we would be traveling with as well as learning more of what we would be doing, learning about the culture of the people we would be working with and gathering supplies to take with.

At our first meeting, we watched a video from Kenya showing how the people in the slums live as well as the Maasai warriors. When you see any tourist information from Kenya if there is a picture of a tall thin native, a red blanket draped over his shoulder, leaning casually on a slender walking stick you’ve seen a Maasai. They are also well-known for their ability to jump straight up in the air. It is fascinating that such a culture still exists, little changed in 2000 years.

What the tourist brochures won’t show you is what life is like in the slums. The capitol city of Nairobi has two main slums, Kibera and Muthari. If you have Google Earth on your computer, type in Kibera Slum, Kenya. It is a large area filled in with a hodge-podge of tin roofs, instead of roads there are narrow passages throughout and hardly any trees or visible vegetation. It is nothing like any American slums I know of.

Also, at our first meeting, Jen handed out small notebooks, journals to record our thoughts, reflections and experiences. She asked us to write, as our first entry, what we thought and felt after watching the video.

I can’t tell you what I wrote, because I seem to have once again misplaced my little grey journal that traveled with me all those miles four years ago. As the first of thousands of people who will eventually read my story when I publish my book, this is one of those things that won’t make it to print. So, you better hang unto this blog. It could be worth something when I become famous.

Unfortunately, it also means I don’t know when I will blog again until I find that little grey notebook.

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