Kenya = Minimalism

It has officially been a week since I arrived in Kenya! The last couple of days have been introducing us to the ins and outs of the city and AMPATH organization that we will be working with in our journalism projects. I have learned so much already, but know that the next couple of weeks will have so much more!

In addition to walking around and experiencing city life in Eldoret, Kenya, we have been thrown into the environment and nature of the continent and I never want to go back.

Yesterday, we hiked up a mountain at Kruger Farm, where workers run up and down carrying 30 lbs of oil to fuel a machine that controls the satellites in the area. (I think that is all correct, I can not quite remember). The hike was beautiful, hot, and a good workout!  We hiked it with our Kenyan partners (for our journalism work, we are working alongside 12 students from Moi University) and they were as awestruck as we were. During the millions of photos being taken I was able to snag a large protruding rock for myself where I was able to practice some yoga for the day. Of course, I had my friend snap some photos.

Yoga on the rock

If there weren’t 30 people screaming and scrambling over rocks, I would liked to just sit and mediate on where I was and how incredible this opportunity was that I was living in. It was such a beautiful picture to see, not just because of the trees and clouds and farms below, but because of the vastness of it. The land just went on and on until it met up with the sky, and continued on. I live on the beach of Lake Michigan where the water looks never-ending as it crashes into the setting sunset, but this was different. It made me think about how small we are, me, from a university in the middle Indiana with 40,000 students, is smaller than a speck of dust when compared to the world outside. In the car back to the city I just kept thinking about nature and the world, and all of the things I do personally that harms it. It kills me every time I think of the plastic water bottles I bought from school everyday or every time I ran the dishwasher when I could added more dishes, or heck just washed them myself!

I woke up this morning and put my clothes in the washer, for some very needed washing. Because there is no drying machine we are supposed to hang them on the rows of clotheslines outside the door. I love this. Why don’t we do this anymore? Why do we have to our clothes instantly dried, even though most people have enough clothes to last them for months. Why do we have to make our lives move fast, so easy? I feel like many things will change when I return to Indiana.

Even before my departure in Kenya, I began to change. I changed my diet to veganism and began going through all of my clothes and things and discarding all unwanted things. I got rid of a lot, and yet I still need too many boxes to transport everything back home. Though I am not 100% minimalizing my things, I kept all of my running clothes, shoes, and I am not going near my books, I am aiming for simpler. Being in Kenya I think has really helped me improve this. When leaving I had the lightest suitcase, and back pack! (go me :)) I left my cell phone in my apartment and try to limit to my time online to FB statues and my required blogging. I was looking forward to a period of no cell phone, no tv, no internet! Though my peers are still glued to the internet as soon as we get back to the room, I instead have taken on Don Quixote. I feel right at home at Kenya, sorry Indiana.

reading outside as the IU House

I feel like have been rambling on this whole time, so I should wrap this up! It has only been a week here, and I feel like im growing into a better, stronger person. I am learning how to live without the extra clutter and embracing life. I am a long way off still, but hey, I have 3 more weeks here. Let it come 🙂