Zuri Watoto Wote

Missing Kenya, friends, and appreciation

Posted in Gratitude, Kenya by Lynn Ouellette on 02/12/2010

Now that we are home, I have begun to reflect some on our trip and to realize that although we were in Kenya for less than 2 full weeks we did a tremendous amount in that time period. We have Lloydie Zaiser and her unique talent at planning, but more importantly at making and maintaining relationships with people in Kenya, to thank for that.  Her capacity for warmth and friendship with the people in Kenya and her affection with the children afforded us an immediate welcoming and acceptance that we would not have had otherwise. We have been genuinely lucky for that and also for being able to share the trip with Karen and Mary who were like minded in their enthusiasm and openness to the experience. This is the kind of trip that bonds people in new relationships because of the depth of the experience that was shared. So thank you all for that.

The "five travelers", Lloydie, Mary, Karen, Tom and me, holding hands and casting long late afternoon shadows on the beach at Lake Nukuru

As I was going through my day today, I found myself with an awareness of being appreciative for the smallest things such as the fact that I could use a washing machine, brew some some good coffee in the morning, take a bath; and I don’t have any day to day worries about my livelihood, how I will feed myself or my family, having enough water, or about catching serious communicable diseases.  It is quite a different world in which we live  from many of the people I met in Kenya where the most fundamental of life’s resources are out of reach. From the women who have HIV and are raising 5, 6 or more children, some with HIV, in a one room shack. Poverty is not the exception in Kenya where the unemployment rate is 75%. It’s a harsh reminder to appreciate what I have……. Despite extroadinarily hard lives, the Kenyan people I met were some of the most gracious, appreciative and inspirational people I have ever encountered. It’s really quite remarkable. It’s easy to fall in love with children, I knew that would happen, but I was surprised by the  power of the experiences with adults. Whenever I am feeling put upon by life I have a new standard of comparison that will be easily called upon to lighten my load and refocus me on the things I should be appreciating.

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