It is Tuesday. I write this from a little cafe in Frankfurt, counting the few days left before my Fellowship begins.
I will be working with very talented peace builders and have the incredible opportunity to do so in Kenya, a place that I fell in love with several years ago. It is almost too coincidental that I fly into Nairobi four years to the day after I originally came to the country as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Now, as a Master’s student, I return with what I hope is a more focused and motivated mindset as well as a better informed sense of empowerment.
I will be working with Children’s Peace Initiative, a local NGO that works towards decreasing inter-ethnic conflict primarily through projects focused on children of different tribes. Tribal identity is very important in Kenya and can be recognized sometimes by just looking at a person or asking where someone is from. Though I will always initially be marked as a muzungu, hopefully I can challenge the identification as an outsider. My kiswahili is not as good as it was but I have my Peace Corps handbook and intend to study because I will be much more effective if my language skills are up to par.
I am very much looking forward to this experience, to collaborating with some innovative and progressive thinkers and to learn from them and take in as much as possible. I hope that additionally I am able to contribute something back to this organization and to Kenya, not necessarily for change but for understanding. I am sure that 10 weeks will pass too quickly and I will attempt to take full advantage of my time there.
This time next week I will have a much more concrete idea of the imminent game plan… and most importantly I will be in Kenya!
Posted By Rachel Wilson
Posted May 31st, 2016