Wednesday, December 1, 2010

School Closing

                Right now, it is amazing that I just passed my first year, despite the ups and downs I had endured through the third term while the first and second terms weren't that bad and school has just closed recently. But it was good to meet some of my children's parents and I know for sure I will miss Class Eight kids as they will whisk off to secondary or vocational schools around in Kenya. I had just developed a picturesque frame of two pictures of them with me along with a poem about them to each of them (7 of them were in Class Eight) to remember the moments I had with them for a year teaching them. They were more than happy to have that for something to remember by as I have one myself that I intend to bring back to USA once I finish with Peace Corps.

         As the school just closed, as I had mentioned, got me thinking about a lot of things such as my children (worrying whether they passed the exams in order to go to secondary or vocational schools or other things), my friends and two sets of families at home in USA and all around the world and my partner whom all I am thankful to have in my life. Without those people, I can't imagine what my life would be like and for the Peace Corps, that all have supported me through which I am grateful to achieve that dream of mine (Mind you, I have so many dreams that I want to accomplish, smile!)

          Because of that, things in my life has rushed suddenly to me. Like for example, remembering my moments at Gallaudet, growing up with my family, going to school, my grandparents, all that and many more.  It's funny how in USA, I would cry a lot with those thoughts but here if you cry, in Africa, that is considered making you sick which is not encourageable but to keep into yourself. Which is why I can see the children or other people crying in private but not in public as it is considered a sickness, interesting view. From that, I learned to cry quietly in private myself instead of doing in public, which is not often though. Also, other thought that came to me, since I am nearing my second year as Peace Corps Volunteer, I have thought long and hard that I would need to go for graduate school but at the same time, it is hard to think of a major I want in order to go to university and doing the GRE/GMAT exams that I would have to do if I want to get in graduate school. For this, I hope my grandparents are proud of what I am doing right now, as I know they are gone, but I always know they are always near no matter where I am.

           That's all I could think of, but hopefully that I would do more on writing in my blog for updates that I will do in coming future.

Happy reading!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Today is my group's one year anniversary being a Peace Corps Volunteer

             Thought I'd write up about my group's one year anniversary since we have landed into Kenya last year, as a newbies and seeking new boundaries that we all will eventually break through.
              Funny, just today, I was remembering our days last year while we stayed in Loitokitok during our two months of training, and right now, we had just passed our one year being a Peace Corps Volunteer and not even one of us had left so the remaining 25 of us had stayed strong for a year. It is amazing how long we all had stayed and made it through but we do have a year left to make it through together again, even if one or few are far away from each other but still all of us are here.
             I am really glad that I had endured my one year being a Peace Corps Volunteer which gave me more than I expected in a year. I am looking forward to another year being here in Kenya and bringing back enriched memories and experiences once I come back to USA but will eventually feel different coming back there. I know I do miss everyone there but I also know I will miss everyone here in Kenya so I am grabbing my time with people, culture, language such as KSL (Kenyan Sign Language) and other things while I am here.
            To my group, I am really grateful that I know each one of you and all of us have made it through even there are obstacles. We eventually had made it pass a year now! I hope the other new groups will do the same! Lala Salama (Kiswahili for Sweet Dreams)! Keep doing what we do!

Much love,

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Time has gone by so fast!

        Wow, I just checked my last blog post and it was just a month ago! Right now, I just calculated that I have been here in Kenya for a year now and only have a year left to go! Right now, I am working with another Deaf teacher at Lambwe working on how to develop KSL exams for Classes 2 to 7 and I had already did Class 8 few weeks ago since next week is their KCPE exam (it's like exam for 8th grade, which gives results to go to high school that can equalize their scores to get in, if you know what I mean).
       It has been pretty interesting teaching Deaf children here in Kenya, you just don't only teach them but there are many ways you can work with them such as being there for them, making sure they can do something like I have done for a long time such as doing things I wanted like: volunteering for Peace Corps (which is the one I actually am doing right now), and few other goals such as going for graduate school, having kids and many that I want to do. But right now, the important part is to be a role model for the Deaf children here at my school, it can be a hard job since it is not an easy task to do.
       Funny thing, the children here are surprised that a Deaf person such as me, as we are same in many ways being Deaf can identify their emotions which they often ask me how can I know. I simply tell them it just takes me to look at a Deaf child if they are sad, angry or any other feelings by their expressions, eyes or behavior. I often have to ask them if they are alright but they can just say they are fine which actually they are not. So I just try my best to keep them in positive spirits instead of wallowing themselves down.
     Also, that brought me up thoughts I have had such as "How do you know I am a good teacher?" "How do I put myself as a role model?" and many other thoughts. When you are a volunteer like myself, you will eventually analyze yourself more and come to understand yourself better, not only that, you will see that yourself when you are around the children like if you are not sure if they like you or not.
I can give you a good example:

            I usually travel out of my school when I go to Kisumu, or any workshops or any other place and I often think about my children at school and often wonder if they miss me or not, such things like that. So one time before, I had to go to Machakos for the training of new Deaf Education group which enabled me to stay for a week (that's the longest time I have been away from my kids). I had told the children that I would be back after a week which means back on Saturday or Sunday. I had already began to miss them on the first day when I arrived to Machakos and after I was done with the training, I came back to my town, Ogongo, ready to see my kids and see how they react when I came back. Wow, I was really surprised to see many of my kids come running fast to greet (I can't tell how many of them, but so many of them) me and obviously, they have had missed me as I had for them. I felt good to be with my kids. That now made me wonder, because now I know for sure that I would miss them very much when I come back to USA and I am grateful that I took pictures of them (I mean there are so much pictures of them as they love pictures themselves). I may have my ups and downs here in Kenya but I am grateful that I came here to teach them here in Kenya.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I know I do have so many stories to tell you what I have done this year but for now, I have been thinking a lot because many of the second year volunteers are soon finishing their services this coming December. It is funny because a year ago, I had met several Deaf Education Volunteers whom had finished serving their first year and other had second year but adding third year. Now I could see they have to constantly think of things or whatsoever is coming because their services is coming to the end but bringing back rich experiences and memories. At that moment, I started to think since this year is my first year and soon it will be my second year coming on, I would probably feel the same. Thinking about a lot of things such as missing the Deaf children at my school, learning much about culture, language and such and many more. I know for sure I would be scared to come back home to USA because it is entirely different what I have lived here than in USA but I know I have to face that one day. But I know I will be okay but will come back a different person for sure, who knows?

Funny, I was laughing at this memory. One day, I was sleeping in the housemother's room and if you see the ceiling up there and you will see a wall that has the top part coming off which is normal in some places though. I was in a heavy sleep and didn't feel anything at all until I screamed. (Remember I live in the same building as the girls and the housemother so it is pretty easy to see them at any daily basis) It was when I realized that the girls had thrown something over the wall to get my attention since I had locked the inner door and they had thrown several things such as boxes and keys and I had to open the door suddenly and the girls were looking at me to tell me they had to get my attention and was laughing because the other housemother (who takes care of the boys) needed the housemother's room to get something but couldnt because it was locked. It was so funny because we all laughed so hard and it was the moment, I felt the girls are my family as well as the school.  I also knew I would miss the children when I do go back home.

Will tell more stories later when I can and hope you enjoy my stories. I have this quote I like:

"If you educate a boy, you educate an individual. But if you educate a girl, you educate the community."
-African Proverb

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My first year in Peace Corps

This will be my first to blog this site: When I first arrived Kenya in month of November, I don't think I have ever experienced culture-shock just yet but experiencing the feeling of staying in another country for full two years which I thought I would be ready but after going through two months of training with my group which contains 25 of us, from secondary/primary school, math & science and as well as Deaf Education. Those two months had been so quick and it was hard for me to let go my group but I knew I had to go and be at my site to be able to help with the deaf children as my site is called Lambwe Christian School for the Deaf in Ogongo, Kenya which is between Homa Bay and Mbita about 45 minutes in between.

At first, it was kind of awkward because I was entirely in a different place where I was accustomed to Loitokitok, the primary place where we were trained for the entire two months but many of the deaf children there greeted me and found out that I live in the same building compound as the girls and the housemother which was fairly nice....It was hard for me the first few weeks but later on, it went on smoothly.....For now, I will tell more stories as I am heading off to do some things and will return back with more tidbits of life in Kenya.

Salama sana!