Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Feeling lost

I am honestly bored out of my mind at the moment.  I don’t know what to do. I haven't written anything in a while because there aren't much to talk about on some days. The internet is extremely slow, I keep falling asleep if I attempt at reading, I don’t have anything planned for the day and it is way too hot outside.  These are the biggest problems of my life at the moment (sigh, and I am in Africa).  It's already been almost 2 weeks since I've been in Kenya and one thing that really strike me the hardest is the amount of problems that exist in this country.  I don’t mean problems like the ones I am experiencing at the moment but bigger ones that have an enormous impact in many people’s lives. 

The first and obvious one is the corruption in the government/ officials.  The government is filthy rich while if you step outside into a village, poverty is severe. Kids are covered in dirt, shoesless, and some wear sandals made of tires.  I am not an expert when it comes to politics or economy of the country but I’ve been told that the rich in Kenya continue to become rich while the poor will remain the same and suffer. This problem has been on-going in many countries and the disparity between the rich and poor continues to grow.  In the soccer tournaments, there are children who beg us for a banana which costs 5 shillings while in Kisumu hotels, the children are well-groomed and dressed just like the children we would see in Canada.  I wish there was something I could do.  I am here to volunteer but many times, I feel extremely helpless.  Stephen, who is Maurice’s brother wants to come and study in Canada. He got accepted to a University in Nairobi to study commerce in September.  Once again, I wish there was something I could do to help.

The other day, Rashma and I were coming back from town and we got in a tuk tuk for 300 shillings which is approximately $3.5 dollars CDN.  The driver was a 20 year old, Jomo Kenyatta University civil engineering student who came back to his home town to work for the summer. He was supporting his family and his tuition by driving a tuk tuk.  We initially offered him 200 shilings in the beginning but he asked for 300 shillings because 100 shilings will be lost due to the police officers who are on the road at night.  He said because they have nothing better to do, they block the roads and collect money from the citizens for their benefit.  This is the epitome of corruption.  Why is this continuing to occur? Who is going to protect the citizens from the corruption? I learn the most about the city and the country by talking to the locals here.  Kevin, our driver said he is an orphan.  His mother passed away and before she was gone, she got a divorce so he has never seen his dad.  I told him that he is an awesome person for persevering and going into university. Hopefully, there are better things ahead of him in life.  Before we got off, we got some bananas at Kisian and I gave him two bananas as a thank you. One for him and one for his little brother that he is taking care of.

Gorgeous sunset greets us every time we return from Kisumu

Yesterday was Canada day.  We invited Maurice, Steve, mama Pamela to a “Canadian dinner” and we cooked them spaghetti.  The food turned out better than I had expected and the night was joyful.  We taught them how to play spoons and slapjack and laughed continuously while we played.  It’s been an amazing experience being here so far but I am currently feelings lost at the moment. 

Spaghetti dinner 

 Stephen learning how to do a bridge

Rashma, Stephen, Maciek, Mama Pamela, Antonia, me, Stephanie, and Maurice

What is the core issue of the government? How can the country develop? Can I be of help? Am I making a change? Even a little bit? How can I help these people in a sustainable manner??

Funny enough, I just heard a little kid crying outside.  I went out and this little girl was crying because she fell off her bicycle. (She is from a well off family)   I helped her back on the bicycle and took her home.  I guess I can be a bit of a help to some people. 

Mag with her fancy bicycle.  In the background is a boy that lives in the house in the photo.  He is currently doing his family's laundry. 


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