Elisa Sarsteiner (AT)

Most memorable moment

During my time in Kenya I experienced a lot of moments I will never forget. It is quite hard to tell which of them was the most memorable because there were so many of them. Just like every time children run out to the streets to wave at us happily while we were passing by. Or every time they started singing and I felt the joy and the strength in their voices. Every time we came into a house where people were suffering from poverty and they insisted on us to take a meal in their house or instead they would have been deeply disappointed. And also every time a woman there called us “her daughters” and I immediately felt like I just joined a big family full of love.

Most challenging moment

Although there was a majority of good moment during the 2 months, there were also some quite hard and challenging ones. Of course at the beginning of my first stay so far away from home I missed my family and friends, but this feelings soon were gone. Much more challenging were the moments in Kenya when I saw a child of whom I surely knew it was impossible to help him or her or to see in which terrible living standards some kids and families have to live. And some of the most challenging moments were those in which I met a sick kid or a kid with disabilities and I knew the medical costs to cure or support it would be much too high to be affordable for any of the families in this region. When thinking of our good social system, it is just terrible to imagine that some people are dying of diseases which easily could be cured in our western countries.

Overall experience

In summary I can say that the 2 months I spent in Kenya with Make Me Smile was an unforgettable and really formative time. I experienced the kind of joy and honest friendliness of Kenyan people, which I have never seen anywhere in that way before. People there have the ability to be happy with what they have and to make the best out of it, even if it is just very little, and this was one of the most impressing experiences i had during my internship.
I can recommend this to everybody, who wants to see what life is really worth. And if anybody told me to go and catch a flight to Kenya immediately, I would do it without thinking about it.