African Adventure #8

Castro Valley Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 9 › view all entries

Jambo Family and Friends,

I have now been home for one month since my African Adventure ended in Kenya, and it has been a rough transition. Coming home to the United States is always so much more difficult than leaving. My biggest battle has been the guilt I feel every time I spend money on something that I really don't need. I feel like there is an angel on one shoulder telling me to not spend the money and to send it back to Africa instead. On my other shoulder, is the devil telling me to be a consumerist American and spoil myself. After living with so little for 2 months, it's been really hard transitioning back to such a consumerist society.

I think this transition has been more difficult than India because of seeing how both poverty and death can affect communities. The poverty levels I saw in the villages in India and Kenya/Tanzania/Egypt were very similar, but seeing the death due to malaria, AIDS, etc. in Africa added a new dynamic to my thought process. I was very humbled when speaking to students who had lost both parents and were living in a small mud shack with 5-6 other family members and no running water or electricity. It definitely made me appreciate my little apartment in Castro Valley that much more.

Even though I continue to struggle with the poverty and death I saw in Africa, it was an absolutely amazing trip. People keep asking me what was the best part, and it is so difficult to choose. My two week trip in Egypt, living and teaching in Kenya for a month, and my week-long camping safari in Tanzania each had their own special highlights. I am very thankful I was given the opportunity to visit such an amazingly diverse and welcoming continent. Who knows where I will be off to next summer?!?!......mostlikely somewhere in South America or Asia.

Thank you all again for supporting me emotionally and/or financially with my African Adventure this summer. Please enjoy looking at my Egypt and Kenya photos at shutterfly's site. The password is _____. The Safari pictures from Tanzania will be posted soon too. If anyone is interested in sponsoring any of the children you see in the photos from Kenya, please feel free to email me and I will share more with you about how you can do that. It's only $400/year for one student's fees, uniforms, books, etc. I am sponsoring one student myself by dying my hair brown again and refusing to pay $100 four times a year for highlights. Yeah, I know, Africa changed me. I hope to get my classes at CVHS to sponsor a student as well. Anyway, if you want more info about sponsoring a student or donating to the cause, email me.

Glad to be home,
Kelly :-) 

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