When I was trapesing the path to where I lived for my first 10 weeks in country and sinking in a foot of dust I was wondering if my then 6 year old brother, Jeremy, would remember me. When I turned the corner to my street Jeremy and the neighbor kids were outside kicking a futbol made of plastic bags and twine. It was just as I remembered. Jeremy saw me and even though it had been a year and my hair had grown about 7 inches he shouted Sarah! We shared a high 5 and I couldn’t have been happier that he knew who I was. In fact the neighborhood kids recognized me as well - asking me to take their picture. It was as if I hadn’t even left. What’s funny is I now have pictures of the neighborhood crew doing almost the exact same poses from a year ago and now present.
My mama and baba weren’t home that evening so I returned the next day. However, that evening my baba called me and wanted to come and get me from the hotel PC had put me up in. He told me that PC didn’t need to put me in a hotel. When I was there I should stay with them because that is also my home. The next couple days while I was in town I stopped by after the 9 hour training days for way too many cups of chai and some goat I choked down. I couldn't get my mama to look at the camera or smile, but that's how you take pics in Kenya.
I was glad for the opportunity to spend some time with my host family. After all much credit goes to them for getting me started in Kenya. Oh and I spent probably an hour with my neighbor girl Beth talking and catching up. She was so much help teaching me Kiswahili. She remains one of the coolest 12 year olds I know. She visited with me while she did chores and cooked dinner for her grandmother and brother who were in the market selling vegetables.
My first morning there I woke up to a picturesque view of Mount Kilimanjaro. It never got old during training and I was looking forward to seeing it again. It is on my top 10 of coolest things I have seen. I count myself lucky to have had Kili as my view for 10 weeks of my life.
Before I went to training I met up with some friends for the weekend for a birthday celebration of one of my PC besties.
It takes me a couple days to get to my site from LTK so I spent the night in Nairobi. I had a hot shower and ate yummy food and decided to continue my treat-yo-self day. My hair has grown pretty fast and well it's not as easy washing it in a bucket so I got up the courage to walk in a hair salon and ask if they could chop my hair off. I had a picture with me and this dude that was a swanky L.L. Cool J look-a -like swore to me he could do it. By that point it was too late for me to get out of the chair and leave. His techniques didn’t exactly capture my hair from my picture but it’s cool I live in a village. It had been over a year since I had been in a salon. Most hair cutting places here are tiny metal shacks that you can stretch your arms out and reach both sides. Also, no kidding they have sweet names like Cleaver Hair Salon. So you can get a chop of meat and your hair did with the same knife. They washed my hair with 3 different products. I forgot how awesome that part is. They were probably wondering why I hadn’t washed my hair in over a year.
In 7 days I stayed in 4 different locations and traveled for 34 hours. It felt great to be home and felt great that when I say home I mean Namboboto. (Of course I still long for home home…America!)
I had chalk drawings on my stoop and a bouquet of weeds stuffed in my padlock from my village kids when I returned. And of course it was only minutes before this little one came to give me a hug .