Hey guys so I know it has been forever and I’m sorry, I’ve been going through my own personal stuff here that makes it harder for me to write. I promise I will do better.
So first off let me just tell you that Kenya has a new constitution! The referendum happened yesterday and it passed peacefully so in 14 days there will be a new law of the land. Considering the violence in 2008 the fact that this went so smooth is pretty amazing.
I think a huge part of it was that Kenyans are too exhausted for violence to occur.
It is really amazing to see a country being born and it makes me feel really honored and beyond lucky to have been witness to this. In 50 years I will be able to say I remember the day this country was born and I was there. I think that in the US we forget how beyond lucky and blessed we are to have a government that runs smoothly. The fact that no one my age can remember a riot or any sort of tyrannical government (depending on what party you are affiliated with) is pretty freakin’ amazing and we need to appreciate that. Hopefully 25 years from now Kenyan kids will be appreciating the same thing.
Anyway I am about halfway through my time here in Kenya so I’m thinking it’s time to take stock.
So what have I learned?
First off I have learned to make Ugali which is pretty legit. Be jealous. Also I have learned a lot of practical skills like how to wash my clothes by hand, how to do dishes without running water and how to generally doing things the ole fashioned way (of course I very often am not allowed to do it). On a deeper level I have learned a lot about myself, like how I really can persevere when challenged and I really can live in any conditions, but in all honesty what I have learned the most about it love. I have learned that there is no reason I cannot be love incarnate and not feel it for every human being. I have learned there is no reason to exhaust yourself with grudges or anger or being annoyed when you can be in love with the world. It sounds cliché but it’s so true. I wish I could explain how much lighter I feel without having to have the cool veneer of sarcasm and apathy and dislike that is so popular in the states. It’s a pretty amazing freeing feeling.
I have also learned that the world is a lot harder then it seems. It’s great you want to help but sometimes it feels like the world will never allow you. Whether it’s people making comments like “I’ll help locally” or “why not in the USA?” (Which makes no sense; people are people in need no matter the country. Also the people who say that never seem to be doing anything. Like at all). Also the world of charity and NGO work is bogged down in bureaucracy and hard to get through so more often then not we are all inert among paperwork. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and unlined office paper. I’ve also learned the amazing feeling one gets when one gets through the paper and actually does something that’s good or helpful.
But really what have I done? I more often then not feel overwhelmed and that I’ve done nothing; I feel as if I’ve sat around and been a waste of space. I’ve gotten a couple kids into school, bought a few balls, gotten some ARVs and yet it never feels like enough. I dream about a day when I will feel satisfied and as if I have really done something but I am beginning to doubt that day will actually come.
Even if I am somehow able to raise enough money for water infrastructure and install hot water at the school will I am able to clean myself up and slip into a deep sleep or will I lay awake and stare at the ceiling for another night. Wondering if I could have installed a swimming pool or something.
The truth is there will always be another orphan, another school, another person in need and that I will never be satisfied and I will probably never sleep a full night again.
In some ways I dread the rest of my life like this and in others I am proud. I’m glad to know that this is the kind of person I am but I am terrified of living my life in this state of never enough. I’m not sure what the solution here is.
Either way this is the path I have chosen, or was chosen for me, so I’m gonna walk it.
So I guess I might as well walk it in love.
I’ll update you guys again later this week with a more planned blog.
Home in three months!
Love and miss you all.