Posts tagged “Kenya

A Reality Beneath Darkening Skies

Posted on 21 May 2014

Lake Nakuru National Park greeted us with a lion. Peering out of the truck, we could hear its heavy breath. Late that evening, the park sent us off with a rainbow pasted against a possibly stormy sky, flamingoes, and storks scattered around, flitting snatches of color against a brilliantly foreboding sky. We succumbed to the urge to fling our arms wide, spin, look at everything. This is real. Not Discovery Channel, not Animal Planet, but really really real, and of course better than television. Majestic places like this do exist! Even the stink of the mud was astounding and perfect. That night, we came to a consensus that this day could indeed be classified as epic.

Finding Food in Kenya

Posted on 18 January 2014

Among my first visions of Kenya: darkness, potholes, and eerie stick structures illuminated by the bouncing headlights. I really wasn’t sure what they could be. The tarp draped over them glared back through the night. I arrived in Muguga, where I was spending the summer as an intern. For the first few days in the guesthouse, I was alone. It got dark around 6pm, so after work I sat in my room and quietly gnawed on protein bars that I had brought along for the long plane rides. I refused to pay the relatively expensive $10 equivalent charged by the guesthouse for dinner, given my tight student budget. I was by myself, in rural Kenya, and the only apparent buildings around belonged to the…

The Irreversible Act of Leaving

Posted on 15 December 2013

If you venture elsewhere, almost inevitably you must leave. You may return, but your actions were irreversible, cannot be undone, for the place you left never will be exactly the same for you again. Time passes, things change, you change. And when you love an experience, a place, or just simply know that it has shaped you, departure feels like doors closing slowly. The world has many, and they won’t all stay open for you. Seinäjoki, Finland, June 2007. I clung to my friend tightly at the train station. It hurt so much to leave. Finland was my place; I had found it. We had enjoyed the long, bright days and twilight nights of Provinssirock, the revelry of Juhannus, and the tranquil comfort of…

Halfway, Forever

Posted on 23 November 2013

That time right before dusk when the strange air swirls around you presents possibilities mysterious, romantic, dark, exhilarating, and final. Yet now, only this small gap of time and space matters. Nothing else because there is only this, this. This moment, it exists and it is dying. You know it and you don’t care. Throw your arms high and wide and laugh! You exist, solidly, in this instant, and that is something to revel in. It is so hard to force only now to matter, and by that, embrace the impending future rather than fight it and fear it. This is the trial of living your limited present, rather than scenes of what probably will not come to pass. The current moment is ever…

The Lives of Others

Posted on 6 October 2013

Travel breeds perspective and perspective breeds empathy. This growth can be spurred in a number of ways, one of which is living as a minority, albeit temporarily. For me at least, this was important. Though I am female, I am also white, heteronormative, and my family is upper-middle class. I am not a member of a minority group in the United States. And though my experience in East Africa is a far cry from an entire life, and though I still held a position of power through wealth during this time, I believe my experience as a racial minority was an important one. I spent three and a half months in East Africa, primarily in Kenya, where my internship took place. This was the…