Kenya is starting to feel like home now. I find myself sitting now with Ellen, Kathryn and Steven at Dorman's coffee shop with a chocolate chip cookie and iced tea enjoying some time with moderately fast internet and my very own computer!
I have returned from a nice, though difficult, homestay with my Kenya family. I spent the weekend with my Kenyan Mama, Baba, and two sisters- Ndiga and Nysie. My family is absolutely wonderful and graciously welcomed me into their home, treating me like one of the family. I spent a lot of time reading and journaling my first day with my family. The next day was much more exciting- several experiences in my new favorite form of transportation, a matatu! Its strange how at home a matatu has made me feel, crowded, squished, and blaring hip-hop must be just what I needed to feel at home! We also made our way to a wedding! Unfortunately, I was a wedding crasher rather than an invited guest, nonetheless I enjoyed seeing some of the traditions of a Kenyan wedding, such as the grooms family greeting the bride and singing tribal songs to her as she proceeded into the reception, dancing in circles to traditional music and of toasts in Kiswahili! On Sunday I experienced my first time in a Kenyan church! the service was WONDERFUL, we went to the Youth service which was full of new and traditional songs, in both Kiswahili and English. I was amazed at just how welcoming the congregation was, I was invited to tea, bible study and to volunteer with the church office, in one afternoon! After church (8a-2p) I enjoyed what I would consider a typical Sunday afternoon, post-church, reading and watching TV on the couch with the family. My little sister and I watched hours of "Real Housewives of Atlanta." How comforting?
I am now back with my YAV Kenya Family, orienting ourselves to Nairobi. We have taken 2 Kiswahili classes which as a whole tunapenda (we love). We are learning greetings and the beginnings of conversations. Mama Byrd has also arranged for us to have some amazing lecturers on topics such as "Spirituality in Africa" and "Church Life in Africa" so far. I am really enjoying the time I have been able to spend with my fellow YAVs, lots of laughter and encouragement from an AMAZING group.
We are off to Mombasa on Saturday for 2 days- I will return with some exciting stories!