It pulled me out once again.
Out into the world, out of the daily life, out of the expectations.
Cultures and their expression have always fascinated me.
On one side the potential of culture is to connect people but on the other side it has potential to divide them.
There can hardly be more diversity of culture, but at the end we can lead them all to the same source. The human. The human and his inspiration from environment and his nature.
There is a lot to hear about the world outside. But the things you hear are never that special like the ones you experience yourself.
So I took to heart: Those who do not want to hear must feel.
I decided to follow my desire and so my way lead me to Kenya or to be more accurate to Kisumu to the NGO / CBO Make Me Smile.
Of course, I had a rough concept of my journey, so I planned to spend a month with Make Me Smile and then to move on to wherever it would lead me.
Last but not least I stayed up to 7 months.
Why? Because the people needed me ?? No, that was not the reason.
Do not get me wrong. I was appreciated by the people and I was appreciating the people.
I enjoyed the high intensity of African culture, or especially the culture of the Kisumu country. It helped me to understand a lot.
I met people, kind ones and less kind ones, made friends, good ones and less good ones, experienced stories, beautiful ones and less beautiful ones. All of this was valuable even though it was not always easy to handle.
However the best lesson to open my horizon were the ones who lead me out of my comfort zone and challenged myself.
I didn’t spend my seven months at Make Me Smile in one piece.
It was always leading me out to feel the wideness of Kenya and Southern Africa.
However, every time I came back to Kisumu, there was this feeling, this feeling of being back, back at Home.
I think the most important thing, to learn in such intense times, whether for one day or one year, is to be opened, to be opened to the facets of the culture, to be opened to new people and situations you run into and especially to be opened to yourself.
I am very thankful for all people I met through Make Me Smile, for the people who welcomed me always with full hearts, the people who helped me more or less to get an easy start to get along with the culture and the projects and the people who facilitated my stay and also those ones who didn’t. 🙂
I think I will still need quite a while to handle what I experienced in Africa and at Make Me Smile Kenya in that one year.
Safari njema (Bon Voyage)