Kenya! I don’t think this could have worked out better. For those of you who don’t know (probably most of you) I went to Kenya 2 years ago (I actually left the country literally 2 weeks before the 2007 elections). I loved it. Granted, I spent most of my time in the middle of the bush with a bunch of other white people. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the interactions I did have with Kenyans and found the local culture to be fascinating (the abundance of wildlife and beautiful vegetation helped too).
So what does this mean? It means a lot of things. First and foremost I’m leaving the country for 2 years. But isn’t that scary? Yes. And no. It’s one of those mixed feeling type ordeals. What it means in the immediate future is that I have about 4 weeks to prepare myself for the coming 27 months in Kenya.
My future adventures in Kenya might include, but are not limited to:
- No running water or electricity. But how will I survive? Who knows, but it’ll be fine. If I’m super lucky (which is possible in Kenya) I’ll have both and internet. I’ll have my own Bluth mini mansion in Africa! (AD anyone?). But, if I somehow end up with none of the nice amenities I’m used to, no big deal. I’ll figure it out. (Can you say solar shower?)
- Learning a new language. It would appear that learning Kiswahili is my destiny. Fortunately, I’ve kind of been exposed to it before.
- Learning how to teach. What? Megan… teaching? Who ever though they’d see that day come? Not me. But it’ll be okay. I’ll do my best to educate as many people as I can. Unfortunately my job description implies that I will have to teach not only chemistry, but math, biology, and physics as well. These kids might not learn anything from me.
- A whole new wardrobe. What? No jeans? No shorts? No skirts or dresses above my knees? Uh oh. I might have to brave the mall…
- Last, but certainly not least, diseases. Let’s take a look at the list of potential diseases waiting for me in Kenya (according to Peace Corps): malaria, Rift Valley fever, tick-borne typhus and dengue fever, schistosomiasis (or bilharziasis), intestinal worms, giardiasis, amobiasis, typhoid fever, hep A, B, and E, cholera, HIV/AIDS, rabies, and snake bites. I haven’t even heard of some of those, but the ones I do know sound like an excellent time. Let’s try to avoid those, okay?
Okay, so there we have it. I’m off to Kenya to experience one or all of the things listed above and more. Between now and when I leave I have a lot of prepping to do, which I’ll probably tell you all about. Til then!
P.S. The name stays… for now. Hakuna Matata means ‘no worries’ in Kiswahili and was such long before the Lion King ever happened.
P.P.S. I think I’m going to move this over to WordPress (http://megweill.wordpress.com) for a couple of reasons, namely I have more control over how it looks and I made the stupid mistake of tacking this blog onto my existing one making the whole ordeal confusing. For now I’m going to continue to update both, but we’ll ese what happens when I leave.