Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Let's talk about Kenya!"

Some days, I can't stop talking about Kenya and some days, I don't want to talk about Kenya. Some days, I can't say enough about the people I worked with and the things I saw and did. Other days, if I have to hear another, "How was Africa?" or, "Let's talk for five hours about Kenya," I may have my own version of a "youth uprising." It seems to be cyclical for me. I understand people are curious and want to hear, want to know. At the same time, there are more things to me than just Kenya. I may want to talk about my Youth and Conflict course, my rediscovery of my musical passions, or how I actually like my job this semester. Or my Peace Corps application. Or how I'm back at St. Thomas and I love it even more. Or, how I'm thinking of starting a band.

I'll admit, the "How was Africa?" has always been a pet peeve because I only went to one country. If I went to Europe, it would make more sense to ask, "How was Europe?" because I'll likely have gone to a bunch of different countries. Yet, maybe due to ignorance (because we only learn about other countries when it concerns bad things or beautiful celebrities), we have to assume Africa is a monolithic continent and all Africans are the same. So it does make me cringe a bit. Also, where do I start? I experienced A LOT in four months, I can't put it in one nice little sentence.

And then there are days where everything out of my mouth is, "Kenya, Kenya, KENYA!!!!!!" Like, I'll respond to statements in Swahili, talk non stop about the good, the bad, and the ugly, and go on and on about every tiny little thing I did. Those are the days where everything relates to Kenya somehow and I must talk at great length (surprise, surprise) about it. I can't stop those days and it takes a friend to tell me to breathe before I can shut up.

I wonder if this is how new mothers feel, sometimes? Some days, they want people to ask them about something other than the baby and other days, they can't stop talking about their baby. At any rate, this is how I feel about Kenya. Please bear with me.

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