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Make Me Smile Kenya

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    My stay as a volunteer in Kisumu
    Date: Summer 2014
    Duration: 6 weeks
    Together with my sister Judith and her boyfriend Bernhard I was in Kisumu as a volunteer for Make Me Smile Kenya in summer 2014.  I already noticed that we would explore a completely different world there on the way from the airport to our accommodation.
    Kisumu and the surrounding field provide many interesting places. Especially as a Mzungu (= white person) you will attract attention here in Kisumu. The Kenyan winter was very warm and we experienced heavy rains, which are normal there in August.
    People’s life there is more simple than here in Europe. The streets were laced with pedestrians and buses, which were cruising around wildly (called
    Matatu).
    The people there are clearly more friendly than in Europe and many are very religious. After a short adaptation phase, we started to assist in different projects. There were many days on which we found out what we had to do in the morning. As you can see, diversification was part of our everyday life.
    We interviewed many families which were supported by Make Me Smile and gained insight in their lives. We also worked in the office, where we were allowed to process the collected data on our own.
    I clearly remember building a house together with some people from the countryside. That was a very interesting experience.
    Naturally the core of our work in Kisumu were the children. Besides the regular projects of the NGO the so-called “Children’s Clubs” took place weekly. Many children met there for leisure activities. As a prospective playschool educationist I didn’t miss a chance to gain experience and see the children experimenting with my musical instruments.
    There are many things I could report on. Because I don’t want to lose myself in details I just want to say that this stay slightly changed my view of the world. Things which appear self-evident to us don’t even exist there and there are some details that turn this place on earth into a very special location.
    All of us three would have loved to stay a little bit longer in Kisumu.
    Nili furahia kvishi Kenya!
    (I enjoyed my stay in Kenya!)
    Paul