This last week and a half was a blast and boy did I need it. After my amazing trip with Adam (which I will post about at a future date), I was really feeling the village blues. I got back to some disappointing news about my project. My community was worried they wouldn’t be able to get the 25% funds required by the donors to build our new maternity wing. I was really sad because I didn’t want my community to miss out on this opportunity. It just seemed like it was one thing after another and I didn’t want to be the only one holding onto this project since my job is to teach them to manage. So I decided even though I had just got back from vacation, I needed a break again.
I went to my closest volunteers just for a weekend and it was such a relief. I brought Sangala with me which was quite the task, but he was so good on public transportation I was really surprised. I decided I’m really going to try to bring him back to America with me. It’s been a back and forth debate because part of me knows that going back to school and moving to DC, it is going to be hard to have a dog and he loves running around free here, but also I can’t imagine life without him at this point and really when will it ever be easy to have a dog, so I’m just going to go with it. Anyway, getting back to the village I found the news out that in fact my community thinks they can raise the 25% with the help of my host father and his more wealthy Nairobi friends. So we will be able to keep the grant and move forward with construction.
The next week my wonderful brother in law Chris was here promoting a new phone for Intel. My friend Hannah and I met up with him and even though he was only here for a short while, it felt so good to see family. He was so gracious and let us use his nice shower (a luxury for village girls), he treated us to amazing food and drinks. Overall we had a blast! Plus he gave us the first try at the new phone, which we’ve been loving. We even got to go to the launch party which was fancy! Very different from the life we live in the village so it felt good to get out and do something nice.
After I said goodbye to Chris, Hannah and I headed up to El Doret to have an early celebration for my birthday. It was another girls birthday too so altogether there were 30 volunteers! The first night we stayed at Hannah’s house and had a “Dirty Vegas” theme party. Then the next day we headed into El Doret city to stay at a hotel. We swam at the pool all day and then went out to a club at night. It was such a blast. It really feels good to do things that are more “western” every once in awhile.
Getting back to site, my supervisor had finished the project timeline for the construction so I was able to send that to the donors which felt good. I also finished teaching a few of my village girlfriends how to make paper beads and jewelry so they can make a little extra money. Today is my actual birthday and I’m just spending it here at site with my dog Sangala. I actually feel really content and happy even though I’m alone here at site. People here don’t really celebrate birthdays because they usually only know what season they were born in. But I’m determined to show them how we do so I’m making cinnamon rolls to share with everyone and going to teach them “happy birthday”. Sangala and I are pampering ourselves too by doing our nails and both getting baths. I may even shave my legs! Ha! Overall, 26 is turning out alright. And it’s a relief to know that this is my last birthday in Kenya! Yeehaww! I can’t announce on this public blog when exactly I will be back in America, but just a hint, not much longer ;) I miss my family today but seriously so happy I will be seeing them soon and Chris gave me exactly the boost I needed to get through the end of this.
Anyway, missing you all. Thank you so much for the facebook bday messages and to Dad and Kate for waking me up at 6am to sing Happy Birthday. I’m truly blessed. Life just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter!