I thought I’d share my journal entry from the day I arrived to Kisumu. it could be rather therapeutic to take this thing full circle, so that I can tie this volunteer experience in a nice, neat bow.
June 12, 2010
I arrived to Kisumu today. there is nothing to do here except go to grocery stores. there’s a pool apparently, and I saw a movie theatre. tomorrow I will try to muster the courage to go to work on the back of a bicycle. hmm. we’ll see how that goes. I only felt lonely about 10 times and scared only 2 times. the place I am staying is ok. I don’t know how to close the windows.
brilliant, right? it keeps going:
I was just starting to like DC and I could have spent my summer working out, tanning poolside, relaxing, and making money. instead I am bushing out in the middle of nowhere and NOT making money. what was I thinking? but I had always envisioned doing something like this for myself, and I cannot wait to meet the girls. be brave. just be patient and try.
Kisumu and I only have one day left together. after 7 weeks of working here I realized that people are right when they say change is as good as rest. I feel so refreshed. last year I exhausted myself and my loved ones with my need for support and I just felt lost. I so desperately needed an experience that would allow me an opportunity to start acting like the person I wanted to be… someone who had something of value to give.
I used to be the girl that never said no… anything exciting and I was game… foreign lands, tall dark strangers and last minute adventures were experiences that I let define me. but I feel like I have changed so much during my time here. maybe I haven’t though. maybe I’m just more aware of who I am.
feeling a new kind of connection to myself. it’s a distinct feeling that what I have and what I am is enough. even if that just means that I no longer feel the pain that plagued me last year, the absence of that pain is enough to make me happy. and being comfortable is enough. I no longer need the extreme to make me feel satisfied. (um but trust that I will be on another extreme adventure soon- old habits die hard.)
I had no idea that I could or would feel so at home in this little city with nothing to do, but I do. I didn’t know that I had more to give than just templates and spreadsheets, but I did. I shared knowledge and led strategy sessions and saw that people are very much strengthened by words of encouragement. and I soothed crying naked African babies and fed my friends sweet treats that made them smile. and that’s enough. I am happy.
I have no regrets. in fact, volunteering for this project is probably one of the best and healthiest decisions I’ve made for my life yet. definitely a good start to 26.
oh, and I figured out how to close my windows.
consider this bow perfectly tied.