I came to Kenya with close to no expectations. I really didn’t know what to expect in terms of environment, culture, living-situation, climate, people or really anything. As my time here winds down, I am leaving with a different view about myself. This experience has been life changing for me, but I think, not in the way you would expect. I’m not leaving with a new view of the world. I haven’t decided to give up all consumerism things at the realization that very few people in this world are able to even consider buying something just because they feel like it. And I haven’t been humbled. Growing up in America, everywhere you look there is some sort of foundation for those in need. There is no shortage of awareness of how lucky you are to be born into a rich country. For me, I haven’t been shocked at what I’ve seen here. Maybe it’s me being selfish, I don’t know, but what has been most life changing for me is learning to live with myself.
I came to this country without so much as a familiar face to rely on. At home, I am constantly surrounded by familiar friends and family and after recently moving from a house with six people, living alone felt…well lonely. I admit, the first month here for me was really hard. I found myself wallowing in my loneliness, but I got past it. I started to meet people, get out and even make some friends. More than anything, I feel confidence. Confidence in my independence, personality and self. Coming somewhere I knew no one was the best thing I could have done for myself. It has helped me grow and learn to live with who I am.