Rain, Photos, & Goodbyes- Poems at the End

My week here in Kenya has been met with several obstacles.

On Tuesday I made the matatu/walking trip to Wachonya Secondary School to teach HIV/AIDS education. However, for the 2nd time, the principal and the teacher did not communicate on the time and I was unable to teach. I am supposed to go back this week at 3:20 after spending the morning at the primary school, so hopefully 3rd times the charm.

After Tuesday was a bust, I was looking forward to teaching STI education to the 7th graders at Wachonya Primary on Thursday. However, the weather was not cooperative.  It poured on Wednesday night and well into Thursday. If it had only been a sprinkle we would have put our raincoats on and made the trek, but it was very wet and the mud here is like cement, you have to scrub with a brush to remove even the smallest amount.  Plus for some reason my feet get unusually dirty here. I don’t know if it is how I walk or what, but Kristiana compare our feet at the end of the day and mine are always ten times worse. I think it is because my feet are tanner, so the redish dirt makes them look orange, but she says its just because I am a dirty girl.

My students here at Pathfinder are in their final stretch before the national exam (Nov. 9th) and they have a lot of pressure on them to be successful. Every morning they get up and go over previous tests from as far back as 1993 to insure they are ready for any question that might appear on the exam. Although their scores have been improving with every exam the teachers are still concerned with their composition scores, so that will be my focus  for the next 4 weeks.

Kristiana and I completed our three week long photo project for Joshua. He is planning to create a specific website just for the school and other projects, so we have been taking pictures of the students, the new books in the library and the buildings. Now I need to upload all of them to his computer with names  and descriptions.

I awoke at 4:50 this morning to say goodbye to Kristiana, who is off to Emmanuels at the Masi Mara. I will really miss having her around to talk to and share experiences with, but I only have 4 more weeks in Kenya and then I can share all the experiences in person with all of you.

Several of the girls in the African Girls Leadership Group have been sharing non-school work writings with me and I have been very impressed with the depth of their thought and their ability to express their feelings through fictional characters or real life accounts. I have decided that I would post some of them here for you to read. I am never going to post the names of the girls and I have their permission to write their work here.

The poems below are written by a girl in grade 7. I wrote them out just as she gave them to me.

My Shoes

I thank God for my shoes- they fit.

I woke up one day,

and I realized that

there were many

things about my

life I was not satisfied with,

or better still, there

were challenges

that were threatening

my soul.

And I said to myself,

‘Why should anyone

envy me and want

to be in my shoes,

they cant know how

far I’ve come, they

don’t know what

lies ahead of me,

and neither do they know

how dissatisfied I get with

myself from time to time.

People don’t know the troubles,

that you’ve had or the

price you had to pay to

get to where you are.

All they want to know

is that they wish they

were like you.

Why should you wish you

were in anybody’s shoes

when you hardly know

how they fit?


These days couples think

more in terms of wanting

emotional rather than

physical needs met.

We want to be valued

for what we are, not because

we bring home a salary or perform household tasks.

The husband who walks

in the door and says ‘Hi

honey, which pretty, well

sums up the evenings

conversation, is not demonstrating

that he mastered many

communication skills.

A major reason husbands

and wives fail to communicate

adequately is that they are

afraid to share real thought

and feelings with their

mates. Fear of experiencing

the ultimate hurt, rejection

blocks open sharing of

thoughts and feelings.

Couples should learn to

communicate calmly,

reasonable and constructively.


1 thought on “Rain, Photos, & Goodbyes- Poems at the End

  1. Wow, Alisa, I’m impressed with both the girls’ writings and the incredible work you’ve been doing. We miss you at Apple, but we’re all proud of your accomplishments!


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