Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Kenya.


June 13: Our Last Day

Posted in Kenya on June 16, 2009

I wake up this morning with a heavy heart, knowing that this is our last day at Transit Hotel. We're leaving for Nairobi tomorrow and catching our 9am flight back to Toronto on Monday.

It's hard to believe that our five weeks in Kenya are already over. I remember the first week we arrived time seemed to move so slowly. We were getting used to our surroundings, and quite honestly, most of us felt pretty scared the first night we stayd at Transit. Everything was pitch black, the wooden hinges of the doors screeched eerily, and we trusted no one. Now, I look back at our uneasiness and laugh.

Transit has become our home. Dominic, the hotel manager, has come to be our big brother, taking care of our every need - from staying up late to chat to buying us fruits from Naivasha to checking on us throughout the day when we take turns falling sick. I don't know whether I'll be able to leave tomorrow morning without crying and I genuinely hope that Dominic will be able to visit us in Toronto one day.

Today, Jenn and Heidi are at John's house to print CTC t-shirts that Heidi has custom designed for our team. Rocky and Mwaniki have come to the hotel to hang out with the rest of us. I'm surprised that they're not tired, seeing as we all stayed up late last night, turning Transit into a makeshift club and dancing to music on Kerwin's laptop while the power was out. I'm tired and reluctant to pack, knowing that what it symbolizes and realizing that this truly is the end of our trip.

In some ways, I'm looking forward to going home. I miss my friends and family a lot, especially my sister, who is in town for a few days. I also miss hot showers, clean laundry (my attempts at hand-washing have proved to be futile), and practically every food item that requires refrigeration (i.e yogurt, milk, cheese)! I've come to realize how lucky I am to have so much variety in my diet - lucky that I am able to eat something different everyday. Here, dinner rotates amongst a few permeations: rice/pasta/potatoes/ugali (maize meal), spinach/kale/cabbage, beans/corn, and goat/beef. I know I have no right to complain because the kids at Ngaya eat beans and maize everyday for lunch and many Kenyans can only afford to eat plain ugali as a meal.

But aside from being homesick (mainly for food!), I know it'll be difficult to readjust to my life in Toronto. I'm scared and uneasy about how I'll feel. I don't even know what I look like because there are no mirrors here, I haven't worn makeup, I've barely watched the news, and I've only been able to get on the Internet twice this entire trip. I may be disconnected, but it's liberating at the same time and I'm not looking forward to being enslaved by the computer and my daily 'to do' lists when I go home. These are just the lifestyle changes that I've tried to anticipate.

I haven't even considered how I'll feel to leave behind Rocky and Mwaniki and all the other people who have touched my heart. I'm dreading the goodbyes tomorrow and can only hope that I have the strength to get through it.

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