Saturday, May 2, 2009

Summer Term in Kenya

This summer I've actually decided to take my 6th co-op term off, and instead travel to Kenya to volunteer as a teacher of math and science in an all girls secondary school.I was feeling pretty excited but now I'm just downright nervous since I leave on Monday. I'll be in transit for 18 hours, going from the Toronto airport to the Amsterdam airport and finally to the Nairobi airport. I'll then spend a few days in Nairobi and then travel to a village so remote that it doesn't even exist on Google maps!

I know I'll have some ups and downs over the next 3 months, but I'm trying to plan accordingly. For example, I'm packing some Crystal Light and instead oatmeal packets for when my mouth gets homesick, the complete novels of Jane Austen for when my girly and romantic side gets homesick, and an iPod full of my all my favourite songs for when my ears get homesick.

I'm also nervous about getting sick. I seem to react more strongly to food poisoning than others, and in Kenya I'm sure I'll be subjected to conditions less sanitary than here in Canada. I talked to my doctor and I think I've packed appropriate meds, including some rehydrating crystals for just in case.

Most of all, I'm nervous about being a good teacher. I love helping people reach their potential and I feel like I might have a big impact on a bunch of girls in a country where female education isn't a high priority. Hey! Maybe I can convince them all to be engineers!

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