I’ve had over a week at home now to reflect on the past four months, and I’m still finding it difficult to wrap up this blog. Maybe I don’t want to stop writing, or more likely, I’m trying to pull a big, meaningful message out of my time in Kenya, but for some reason I just can’t.
That’s what people want, right? A positive, powerful conclusion, a happy ending to a movie, or in this case, what has turned into more of a book. People want to know that it was an incredible, life-altering experience, but what if it wasn’t? I wrote little of my frustrations or my numerous phone calls home, seeking reassurance from my parents that my time in Kenya wasn’t in vain. I left out the times I felt like a prisoner inside my own house, unable to go out and explore the surrounding land, or even the town, for fear of the dangers it could pose.
I had my life-changing experience two years ago in South Africa. Not to say that you can’t have more than one, but that trip definitely impacted who I am today and helped define who I’ll be in the future. If it hadn’t been for those experiences I doubt I’d have ever ended up in Meru.
I guess that’s life though, things never seem to go as planned and it’s usually best when they don’t. I don’t want to have the rest of my life laid out before me, what fun would there be in that? Fear of the unknown may be the greatest fear of all, but it’s also the most exciting.
I just hope a little piece of me lingers on in Kenya, even if the impact I made was minimal. But who knows? Maybe the computer lessons and marketing materials gave Makena the extra push they needed to be more successful, or maybe a child at the HIV talk will choose to use condoms, thereby preventing them from contracting HIV. I don’t want to diminish or underestimate what I did while I was there, but I’m definitely not going to over-exaggerate it. Maybe the best gift I could have given was the beginning of a few new projects, ones which should continue and make larger, more lasting, impacts in the future. That’s what I really hope for, the snowball effect, in which an idea or a few words one day lead to real, measurable change.
I’ve expressed my plans, to stay in one place for a while, a few times since I’ve been back. Those who know me best aren’t convinced. Perhaps I’m not wholly convinced myself. It’s probably only a matter of time before Boston starts to bore me and I find a need to travel somewhere new and exciting. There’s so much left to do and see in the world and it would be a shame to miss it.
Until my next adventure,