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Day 1

I have made it to Kakamega after an interesting day in Nairobi. I stopped at a bank to get some cash from an ATM and the machine ate my card. For a moment, I totally freaked out but luckily there were some American students behind me that helped me. One watched the machine and the other helped me argue with the bank guard to let us into the bank even though it was closed to get my card out of the machine. Her perseverance and arguing skills got me into the door and I got my card back thankfully. I decided not to risk any more adventures in Nairobi and joined them at a coffee shop instead until I had to catch my flight.

mud_house

At the Nairobi airport I had to walk out onto the tarmac to get on the plane. The flight to Kisumu was very beautiful. The hills are densely covered with a patchwork of fields. It looks as though every piece of land it used for farming, lots of deforestation. I also saw a lot of fires burning, clearing the land for farming. Kisumu is situated on the banks of Lake Victoria so there was a nice view of it through the smoke. The Kisumu airport is just one runway and a tent for a waiting area. The FSD staff met us there and we took a ridiculously bumpy road to Kakamega.

We are staying in a guesthouse for a week of orientation before we join our host families. Throughout the week we’ve been having a bunch of sessions to better prepare us for life in Kakamega. We’ve also been taking Swahili lessons. I’ve noticed two main things that I think will take me awhile to get used to. First, it’s the massive amount of garbage that is everywhere. The ditches are filled with garbage; the roads are ingrained with it. It’s just everywhere because people liter here or they throw their garbage in a hole where it blows out or gets flooded out by the water. Also, the amount of people everywhere. Every road has tons of people walking on it. In town the main roads are lined with men on bicycles. There are just tons of people everywhere and I’m definitely not inconspicuous so everyone stares at me. I’ll definitely get over any crowd phobias I may have harbored or any self-consciousness I may have had!

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