Monday, May 17, 2010

Rat Stories from Kenya

So I had a rat living under my bed but it wasn’t an ordinary rat. This rat never chewed or ate anything. My clothes are still in one piece and none of my food was ever touched. This is one reason it took me so long to figure out I actually had a rat IN my house. For the longest time I just thought there was a rat above me in the ceiling boards. This was just wishful thinking on my part. I came to found out it was actually running around under my bed. Under my bed is where I keep all of my unused luggage. I don’t understand what was so interesting to the rat about my luggage but there are no holes so I am happy.

Finally it came time for me to take action. I prepared the poison and strategically cleaned out under my bed and put the delicious smelling poison mixed with corn meal. That night was the last night I was woken up by the rat! The only problem was where did it die? I ignored this problem and promptly forgot about the whole situation. That is until last night. Last night after night studies I walked into my house to the most disgusting smell. The last thing I wanted to do was deal with a smelly dead rat but I had to remind my self, yes I am in Kenya and No there are no younger brothers to bribe into doing the dirty disgusting tasks. I them proceeded to search for the dead body. Sure enough it was under my stove. At first I only saw the BIG tail. Then I saw the BIG body.... AHHHH it was as big as my foot and for those who know me I have BIG feet. Size 11. Needless to say I found my gloves and proceeded to put it in a plastic bag. I tied the bag up and through it out the door. I wasn’t in the mood to put up with the body any further then that last night. Then I had to mop up the floor because the smell was so bad. Finally I was able to go to bed with no stinking smell to keep me up. And even better news is that the rat carcass was missing the next morning. I only feel bad for whatever poor unfortunate animal decided to eat it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


So I come from Southern California witch is probably the BIGGEST avocado place in the United States. You can find them everywhere anytime. Just walking on the street and there are people selling them. The thing is that I never paid any attention to them. I would eat the avocado sauce with my tacos but that was only because it was green and I thought it would make the taco more healthy. Other then that they were just this icky green vegetable that I never liked.

Well that has changes. I don’t know what has change the appeal for the avocados in Kenya but I just can’t get enough of them. I eat them ALL the time. The problem is buying them in season. They are starting to be found more easily because they are in season now but later I don’t know what I am going to do because it has become an obsession. I NEED my avocados, lol.

Other then that I think this past month I have eaten more bananas then I have in my whole life. They are also in season now and seem to be the only fruit available. Needless to say I have been making lots of banana pancakes and bread. Yummy Yummy Yummy!!!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Kids.....

I absolutely love my kids and my school but sometimes they drive me crazy (in a good way). For example they have all of these superstitions. This includes resting your chin on your hand, crossing your arms and putting your hands on top of your head. They think that if you do this you will die. I have tried explaining to them that this is just not true but they do not listen to me. All the time they catch me doing something and they continuously scold me for doing it because they are worried that I will die.

Anyway, I am kept very busy. I get up at 6am to take the kids running. We run up and down this very big hill. I would estimate that round trip it is around 3 miles. This takes us until 7am. Then between 7-8 it is time to bath, clean and get ready for school.

At 8 I start my 3min. walk to school and make it in time for assembly. Then from 8-3:10 I am at school teaching and working with the kids. I teach 8th grade English, 7th grade Kenyan Sign Language, and 5th grade Math/P.E./Art.

At 3:10 I then tell all of the kids to change cloths and we go running agin. I tell you by the end of these two years I am going to be in the best shape of my life. We run until around 5:30. Then we all go and bath, wash cloths, and get ready for dinner. Dinner is then served around 6-6:30.

At 7 all the kids go to school to study until 9pm. I sometimes go to help but usually I am to exhausted and need the two hours to recuperate.

Then at 9pm I go back to the girls dormitory and make sure they all are getting ready for bed. At 10 it is lights out. I have been sleeping at the girls dormitory because of the early hour we have to get up to go running. Everything is going great and I am loving the simple way life is here.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My Site....

Well it has been a long past few days. Thursday I left with my principle to our school, Komotobo Primary School for the Deaf. It was a 6 our bus ride from Nairobi to Moggori and then another hour and a half car ride to my school.

I have to say it has been a very long past few days. I am out in the middle of no where. On the paper work I got on the school it said that I would have power. Well I don’t.....When it can to training on how to use a lantern in Loitokitok I kind of didn’t pay attention. So far the lanturne I bought yesterday is out of commission. I brook the glass. I think the wick was to high making the glass shatter... Ohh well. I am working off of candles and one flashlight.

And as fate would have it the battery operated lanturne I brought with my from America brook and the two other light forces I had I forgot in Loitokitok.

This is going to be a long long two years. I asked the man who lives a few houses down from me about the power situation. Apparently we have a generator and the put the power on for Saturdays and Wednesdays but it is broken and who knows when it will be fixed.

The other big thing I am having a hard time with is my house. I have never lived alone before. I was always living in the dorms at school or at home at my parents house. The people on either side of me are not here so it is just me. I hear creepy noises and it is hard to get used to. Just now I heard something flying up against the front wall. I am going to guess that is was a stray chicken but who knows considering that it is now night time and dark outside. This morning I woke up to something running outside my bedroom window. Considering that there is nothing but a fence back there I am still wondering what it was.

And then for some reason all of my rechargeable batteries don’t seem to be working and yes I just charged them..... I forgot to get batteries from town for my radio. That would have at least helped with the quiet.

Also this was the moment of ohh my gosh I am an Kenya.......I haven’t had that moment until the second night when I started wondering “What am I doing here out in the middle of no where with creepy noises and no power????” I got spoiled in Loitokitok with power and a big town environment that I was not ready for this. I will survive, lol....

On a good note I meet the children and can’t wait to start teaching. Monday we discuss what everyone will be teaching. I already know I will be teaching the upper classes 6-8. I told my principle I don’t have patience for the lower classes and he was fine with that! I can tell already I will get along just fine with the students. I have already turned into my teacher role of asking them questions and making sure they understand what I am saying. Also with telling them to pick up after themselves. I can’t wait to get started!

Today I spent that whole day cleaning my house. My theory is the cleaner the house the less bugs I will have. I have already cleared out all of the coach roaches I could find. They varied in sized from one and a half inches to very small. Hopefully they will be gone for a while. I used dome bug spray killer. It kills the bugs and there eggs! I also did a lot of laundry and am frustrated because I still have a lot more to do. Ohh well who knows when I will be able to catch up on laundry?

Anyway I have around an hours walk to church tomorrow so good night to everyone.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Sad Sad Day...

Today has been very long. A Peace Corps car came to my house around 9:30 to pick up my bags....I have to say I had one more bag then what I came to Kenya with. Oh well.

My sister and I cleaned finished all of the cleaning. This included the laundry, filling the jerry cans in the house with water and cleaning them out, and moping the floors. Moping the floors is done quite differently here in Kenya. I have to bend at the wast and go back and forth with a wet towel. I moped the floors wile my sister did the laundry. Laundry is not my favorite thing to do in Kenya. It includes three different basins and lots and lots of scrubbing will bending at the wast.

When we were done I we got the kids ready to go. This includes bathing them and dressing them. One thing that I should say is that I am not the typical trainee. I have taken a very active role in my family. I am considered a daughter and member of the family. My sister Winnie is 17. Whatever she does I do. This is how I have learned to clean my clothes, cook, and clean the house. It is also how I have become truly part of the family. I am always doing something and helping with the kids.

Finally after Winnie was ready to go (She is always the last one ready because she takes a long time getting ready) everyone got into the car and we went by the shop to pick mama up. Edward my cousin stayed at the shop while we went to outward bound.

There we had a nice program to thank the families for everything they have done for us. We put together skits and speeches to show our appreciation. There was also lunch after that. Finally we took family pictures and said our good byes.

After everyone had left we had a short meeting then were told we were free for the rest of the day. Dinner was at 7:30 and then tomorrow breakfast is at 6am because we leave for Nairobi at 7am.

I then walked into town and meet my sister Winnie at the market. We preceded to do our normal shopping of food for the family. After that I took Winnie back to school shopping. Then we said our good byes. No matter how many times I say good by it never gets easier. I have become very close to my sister Winnie and will miss her greatly. It helps a little to know that she leaves on Tuesday to go back to her secondary school where she will be starting form 3. I will hopefully be able to make it back in April to see my family and sister again.

Today is a sad day because it represents a closure to a stage of my life that I will miss greatly and a beginning to a new adventure.

Now I just got done with a wonderful HOT shower and am thinking about either going to bed or going to see the movie that is on in the dining hall. Both are very tempting.

We leave for Nairobi tomorrow and then on the 6th we will be swearing in as official Peace Corps Volunteers. Then on the 7th we leave for our sites where we will be working for the next two years. It is all going so fast. Apparently our swearing in will be a big advent because we are celebrating 45 years of Peace Corps being in Kenya this year.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


So I had an epiphany today.

Originally I was kind of frustrated because I am not picking up Kiswahili very fast. Since I am in the deaf education program I am learning Kenyan Sign Language not Kiswahili. My homestay family is helping me to learn Kiswahili.

I was sitting in the living room waiting for everyone to get finished getting ready for church so we could leave. While waiting I was eating an orange. The house boy came in and asked me if the orange was sweet. I automatically replied yes it is very sweet when in fact it was bitter and not like the oranges in America. Here in Kenya if someone asks you if something is sweet they are not referring to the taste. Sweet means it is very good. So I would say dinner was very sweet tonight because dinner was very good.

Also at that time there were also bananas on the plate. Instead of thinking Banana I thought Ndizi. So I might not be learning the words I want to learn but I am learning words.

One of the reasons I joined the Peace Corps is because I wanted to be immersed into a new culture and language. I am definitely being immersed into the culture and learning a lot. I am also learning a lot of Kenyan Sign Language and a little Kiswahili.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Continued Travels

Two weeks ago I meet my home stay family. I have a baba (Father), mama, one sister, and a younger brother. We live in a really nice house. When you walk in there is the living room/ t.v. room. Then to the left is a hallway that leads to the cooking room on the right. Then a wash room. Next to that a real toilet!!! Then my room. To the left are two more bedrooms. My baba is a farmer and a veterinarian and my mama has a shop in town. We have electricity and watch t.v. and dvd's. I was supprised by the access to power, water, and electonics. Most people in town have a t.v. Also everyone has a cell phone. I have even brought one. This is how I stay in contact with Peace Corps, other trainess, and home. Kenya is blessed with the technology they have and I think the technology will only get better.

At the end of my first week at my home stay I left with the deaf education group for Machakos. We are the first group to go through this new and improved training. We spent the past week at the Machakos school for the deaf. The school is a bording school. This was a lot of fun because we got to interact with the students and play games with them during resease. The students went home today because it is the end of the term for them.

Next week volunteers from different schools from the deaf in Kenya are going to bring their students to the school to stay. We will practice teaching with these students. I am excited to put my four years of deaf education schooling to the test!

Monday we find out were we will be going at the end of our training to teach for two years. The math and science group who are still in Loitokitok found out there sites Tuesday. I have to addmitte that I am a little jealuse, lol.

I can't wait until I found out were I am going Monday!!!!