My First Week in Kenya: Intern Post by Sara Tempest
As I reflect on my first week in Africa, I am trying to wrap my head around all of the amazing experiences that I have had. Africa is an esthetically stimulating place. Everywhere I look is picturesque: The vibrant patterns of fabric women wear, babies wrapped up tight on a mother’s back while she carries a bucket of water gracefully on her head. The contrast of bright smiles on dark flawless skin or carefully constructed clay huts that house extended families.
These moments can be drastically contrasted to the tragedy of pain that I have seen as I learn about the tremendous sacrifices that are made here. Children walk up to two hours each way to get to school, usually on an empty stomach. Women work in the hot sun barefooted, digging a dam, carrying buckets of mud on their head up a hill while a baby sleeps on their back. They are paid in food to feed their families. I see the pain in a young girl’s eyes who is living on her own away from her family in a dark room smaller than my bathroom just to be closer to school, so she can be the first of her family to attend and graduate from secondary school.
Though I see many hardships each day, I am humbled and inspired by the way these people move forward doing the best they can to survive, with no complaints. A few times I have asked locals what their challenges are – what it is they are afraid of. I am repeatedly surprised when they have no response to this – as if these words do not translate into their language. It is with great hope and faith these people live their lives. I will always remember and appreciate the interactions I had with the locals in the Samburu District. Though their burdens are many, I have seen the light in numerous faces as Kenya Keys has given opportunities to hundreds of people who would otherwise be in hopeless situations.