It’s our second week here, and I am definitely sleeping better. I still take uncontrollable naps in the afternoons but that can’t be jet lag anymore. Last weekend was packed, so compared to that, this week was very chill. As usual, I will give a breakdown of days’ events and what I loved and learnt from them. Read up on my weekend here
We went to work at Simama. My job there is basically done because I am not making a brochure, but I still go anyways in case I am needed for anything. There is a restaurant down the hall that has excellent chapati and fish fingers and it has become my go to. At work, we met a few people who had come in to visit Simama. They seemed off to me but I was nice to them because Regina, my boss was nice to them. When one of the ladies came to greet us, she had this condescending ‘I’ve been volunteering my entire life’ tone to her voice. To make matters worse, she started touching my hair, playing with and moving it around. It was disgusting. I removed my head from her reach. I am not a dog to be petted. After lunch at Daraja, we were asked to rate some of the girls who were applying for an exchange program in San Fransisco. It was weird because they are all great and I had already formed personal connections with some of them. I understood that they were looking for the best people to represent Daraja, but it felt weird all the same. During dinner, I decided to give my table members nicknames. It was the most hilarious thing ever. I ended up giving most of them Igbo nicknames and they gave me a Swahili one.
We went to work, and it was great but pretty uneventful. We ate both lunch and dinner at Global Platform. They are an organization housed on Daraja grounds which trains Dutch youth to work at NGOs around Africa. Sounds great, but they are problematic. They people being trained here in Nanyuki will be posted around Africa, and the language that they learn is Swahili. That is impractical. Also their training is a one-month kind of cultural assimilation course where they learn about African culture. What hell is that! It also saddens me that though they want to work with Africans, they never interact with the ones that they live with, i.e. the Daraja girls. This is one of those blatant cases of volunteer tourism that is wrong and needs to stop. Nobody needs saving so you need to get off your high horse. All this I wondered whilst I ate my dinner.
We had our chores in the morning because we were going to Simama in the afternoon. All the days we have been here, I had managed to get either a recycling chore or a kitchen chore, but today was my day of reckoning. I was assigned to the garden. I don’t like gardening, but with everything we did on this trip I decided to go in open-minded. We shoveled cow poop aka compost from point A to point B. Our oga at the top, John made it easy for us because he knew we were no experts. We had such fun conversations about relationships, politics, Nigerian music. I was fortunate to be present at the birthing of a calf. It was gross but beautiful. It stood up within thirty minutes. Miracle! At work in the afternoon, we went to the Simama Home, where all the kids lived. We waited patiently for all of them to arrive and we played lots of games. It was amazing to be with the kids whose files we had spent so much time reading. Back at Daraja, we received our Daraja swag. It consisted of a t-shirt, wristband and water bottle.
Deuteronomy 31:6-“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”