Jambo from Kakamega, Kenya friends and family! It has been a few days since Alexa and I arrived, and we’ve enjoyed everything that Kenya has to offer. Now that we have a reliable internet connection, we could finally update you all on everything that has happened so far!
We flew in to Nairobi on Saturday as our point of entry into Kenya, took a 30 minute flight into Kisumu, and a bumpy, hour long car ride later we finally arrived in Kakamega. We are currently staying at a bed and breakfast that is about a 15 minute walk from the organization’s (FSD) main office. For the past few days, we’ve been holding orientation sessions with Peter, Pollyne, and Rachel from FSD to help prepare us for our internship and overall integration into the Kenyan culture. It’s been really interesting to hear how and why the locals think a specific way, along with what to expect in certain situations. Upon arrival, we definitely stood out as foreigners or mzingus as the locals like to call us. Our skin color was obviously the biggest indicator of this, but our clothing and accents gave it away too. One funny example of this was while we were walking around town, I noticed that I was the only male wearing shorts around. Every other guy in town was wearing long pants. Other than this, we are trying our best to blend right in. The locals are very nice people, always saying hello and shaking our hand as we pass by them. On our walks to and from the office, we pass by the outdoor markets and various street vendors. We also walk through boda boda and matatu drivers who are always asking us where we’re going and if we need a ride with them. Boda boda and matatus are a very popular means of transportation in the form of bicycles/motorcycles and mini vans respectively. They tend to get a little pushy and aggressive at times, but understandably so as its business for them. I got to ride a boda boda to work the other day and I loved it. I wasn’t able to take a picture of it and record a short clip of my ride, but I’ll be sure to ask next time!
As much as I love it here in the town area so far, I can’t wait to move in with my host family in the more rural part of Kenya. This is my last night in the city, so I am so stoked to move to the more rural area, live with, and immerse myself into this culture. My next blog post will be towards the end of the week to talk about how life with my host family has been so far, so keep an eye out for that!
P.S. (I wrote most of this at 3 am, so I’m sorry if some things just don’t make sense haha)