Time is really flying by in Nairobi. This weekend was the first time since arrival that the volunteers got a day off to explore Kenya. Although I was exhausted from a week of adopting to the culture of KSG and Kenya in general, I was very excited to spend time bonding with the other volunteers outside of school and to do some touristy things while here. On Saturday, we drove about twenty minutes outside of where we are staying in Nairobi to a place called Kazuri Beads. It was a little more rural than where we had been so far and on the way there were vendors selling hand painted pots and furniture. Kazuri is a bead factory that employs single mothers. They craft the ceramic beads themselves, fire them in a kiln, and then paint them by hand. They even have a website if you want to google them and check it out! The jewelry was amazing and it was a quiet and peaceful environment after being around the KSG students all week.
On Sunday, most of the volunteers decided to go to the Giraffe Center in Nairobi. There were a few hiccups with transportation. We ended up taking a private matatu that was organized through our guesthouse. A matatu is basically a very crowded small van that is used for public transportation here. The roads around Nairobi are full of potholes and there seem to be almost no traffic laws, so driving at high speeds in a matatu feels somewhat like a real life game of Mario Karts (terrifying but very fun). We got lost on the way to the Giraffe Center and ended up in some questionable areas of Nairobi, but it was cool to see new parts of the city. Eventually we got there and were not disappointed. They breed giraffes at the Giraffe Center and later release all of the animals back into the wild. You can feed the giraffes with either your fingers or your mouth. To feed them with your mouth, you put a giraffe pellet in between your lips and the giraffe will “kiss” you to get the food. It actually wasn’t as gross of an experience as it sounds. We spent Sunday night relaxing and preparing lesson plans for the upcoming week.
The girls at KSG were full of energy this morning. It’s hard to keep up with them but I’m trying to keep my spirits up because I know that my time with them is limited. I find myself getting frustrated when my students are fidgeting or not listening to the lessons we teach, but then I remind myself that they are often only 5 years old and really aren’t capable of sitting still for a few minutes at a time much less for an hour long lesson. In other news: my cold is going away, I’m getting used to the food, and I figured out how to get laundry done at the guesthouse. Life here has been busy, challenging, and exciting.