Kenna In Kenya

people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the people that do.

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So I kinda quit writing this blog (I tried to quit a long time ago but my parents are very persistent) because I was Sooooooo beyond sick of people telling me how “I’m making such a difference” or that “what I’m doing is so great” … I mean I appreciate it, really I do. And I’m all for the optimism, but I came here because I wanted to, because it was MY dream. If I really wanted to “make a difference” I wouldn’t be sitting in a third world country with an iPad and a $150 rain jacket (granted it was on sale but really who would pay that much for a RAIN JACKET). To make a difference you can’t just go somewhere and live like people live and think that you are changing anyone but yourself.
Since I’ve been here these kids have gotten close to, and left by 15 different volunteers.
Making a difference isn’t living in a shed (which is pretty good living Here) and eat rice and lentals everyday (which means I ate everyday, unlike a lot of people)…. That’s not making a difference, that’s just walking in someone else’s shoes.

Sure maybe putting a smile on a kid’s face is worth it, trust me its an amazing feeling. But I also feel like I’m just putting a bandaid on a gun shoot wound. It’s not fixing anything.

That being said I have gotten to know some of the most amazing, annoying, funny, terrible, loving, angry kids while I’ve been here. They have changed me, I haven’t changed them.

Like there is Angel, actually Angel isn’t who I want to talk about, angels mother is. Angels mother was raped when she was 13 years old by her uncle. And before she gave birth to and named her baby Angel she found future hope baby center and asked Jane to take care of her baby until she had finished school, in return she would work there on her school holidays for free. That’s an amazing person. A 14 year old who was able to make that decision, she deserves to be told how amazing she is and how her actions are making a difference.

Or there is munge who is I believe 8, he came to the orphanage 1 year ago when he got lost from his parents, and they still haven’t been found (and they haven’t been looking for him either) he isn’t mad or bitter or sad. He is THE.happiest kid I’ve ever met.

Or let’s talk about jane. She gave up her posh life style, being a politicians wife, she gave up working, and having extra money and living a nice life style to help these kids. Would you be able to live off rice and lentals for the rest of your life with no running water to help some kids? I wish I could say I would, but the truth is most of us wouldn’t. She is an amazing person, what she’s doing makes a difference.

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I know I complain a lot, but bitching is just part of my personality 99.9998% of the time I complain I’m laughing at the situation but I just heard the best conversation of my life.
“Should we put the net up, or risk it.”
“Idk I just hate when I wake up and its strangling me”
“Really I’m quite keen on it, actually I generally wake up upset that it hasn’t strangled me and I have to live another day like this”
“Your right let’s use the net.”


Also I washed my hair up all nice and decided I wanted to get extensions, I found great hair and what not. And so I went to the salon and not only did she put them in wrong but then at the end she put oil in my hair as if I was African and needed oil in it. To my enjoyment when I got home I realized the water has been turned off again. So my hair now looks wet 24/7… Luckily I just need a needle and a thread and one of the workers here can sew the extensions in to my hair tomorrow.


On a plus side for lunch we got rice and beans. I was a bit pumped cuz it was beans. Other than that I didn’t do much, although I never even napped today so I’m a bit dragging.

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2 new volunteers came late last night. They asked us what it was like and what we do and o told them I so about 20 minutes of volunteer work then go back to the shed and maybe an hour later I do another 20 minutes worth. She looked at me like I was the worst volunteer in the world. So this afternoon she goes out to play with the kids and about 7 minutes later she came back to the shed. I asked how it went, and with pure exhaustion on her face goes ” those kids shit me”… Welcome to hope baby center, where kids have no boundaries

Can you tell I’m ready to leave??? Sooooooo so so so so ready to leave.

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So since I live in a shed my internet is a little bit slower than dial up (remember that old “berrr bing chhhh shoo chhhh you’ve got mail”) , so what was suppose to be posted with the picture of cat prints didn’t basically the moral of the story was we forgot to lock up the shed before bed and woke up with cat prints on the bed sheet. Which means a cat had a little slumber party with us, I named him Percy jr. Since the cat that made my face swell up like a puffer fish in Uganda was called Percy, it was fitting that this cat was his son/daughter.

We got a new little girl the other day, she is like 5 or so, her mom left her at church on Saturday and then on Tuesday she went to the cops to find her daughter, as if it takes more than 10 minutes to realize your 5 year old isn’t at home with you ( have you met a 5 year old they are LOUD and ask lots of questions, kinda like me…) The worst part was the little girl was scared for about an hour then she was off playing, if 5 year old me was brought to an orphanage by cops I would have peed my pants, brig separated in a super market was bad enough, I can’t even imagine what your life is like when being dropped off at an orphanage isn’t that scary. To put it into perspective: I was more scared coming to this orphanage knowing I could leave at any time when I was 21 than this little girl did as a little kid.

This world disappoints me.

Or like Nicholas he is 4 almost 5 and he came to hope 2 years ago as a 2 1/2 year old, and you can tell he had a pretty traumatic first few years, like he doesn’t really play with the other kids, he just kinda sits on his own and up until about a month ago I’m not even sure I knew who he was, but over the last month or so we have totally bonded, he is by far the cutest kid I have ever met. When I first met him he wouldn’t really talk to me, he definitely wouldn’t let anyone touch him and now he will run up to me and give me a hug and he talks til there is no tomorrow, and now I have to leave him, just like everyone else in his life…. I bitch about these moms, but really am I any different? Bonding with someone who needs it so bad and then leaving them.

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Percy Jrs foot print! If I had a detective kit I bet I could find out where PJ is today… But I don’t

Percy Jrs foot print! If I had a detective kit I bet I could find out where PJ is today… But I don’t

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I’m so ready to go home.
That’s all I got today… My minds to busy day dreaming about America.

I want to go home- Michael buble

Another summerday has come and gone away in Paris and Rome but I wanna go home. May be surrounded by a million people I still feel all alone, just wanna go home. Oh I miss you you know. I’ve been keeping all the letters I wrote to you, each one a line or two “I’m fine baby how are you?” I would send them but I know its just not enough, my words are cold and flat and you deserve more than that. Another airplane, another sunny place, I’m lucky I know, but I wanna go home. Got to go home. Let me go home. I’m just to far from where you are, I wanna come home… (Couldn’t type that fast)… This was not your dream but you always believed in me. Another winter day has come and gone away in Paris and Rome and I wanna go home. Let me go home. And I’m surrounded by a million people I still feel all alone. Let me go home, I miss you you know. Let me go home I’ve had my run baby I’m done I gotta go home. Let me go home itll all be alright I’ll be home tonight I’m coming back home ( I wish)


17 days-409 hours til my parents come visit me!

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I’m home sick today. So I’m listening to the wedding singer sound track. Nothing like mr. Sandler (when he use to be funny and made good movies) to cheer me up!

We got new volunteers the last few days one is from londonish area and the other from Mexico. The girl from London is me 12 weeks ago. Scared to death.

So I’m dedicating this blog to New girls( but not those ones who are “excited for an adventure” because what that tells me is your life at Home isn’t that fun, this is for the ones who have an adventure everyday, but don’t know what they just got themselves into) When you step off the plane and think “get me the fuck out of here” or “what in the world was I thinking, who goes to AFRICA!?!?… I should have stuck to Europe or Mexico” or the first night when you are curled up into the fetal position crying your eyes out thinking you will die a miserable death in Africa and you will never see your loved ones again. Take a deep breath—- pop in your iPod ( NOT kokomo… Beginner mistake, that will make you wish you were in Bermuda, Bahamas key largo.. you get the picture) I personally suggest a song that makes you think of someone you are glad you won’t be seeing for a long time. Then go to the store get yourself a diet coke and a kit Kat go home cry your eyes out ( they have to come out eventually) and then you wake up in the mm morning and realize life as you know it will never be the same. But that’s a GOOD thing ( no it won’t feel like it for at least a month though). Think of the plus side of things.
—— side note: my right ear bud fell into water a few weeks ago and broke so I have been listening to music in one ear for weeks. And just now listening to praise you in this storm the ear bud started to work!!!!!! God is good!!!! Look what a little optimism can do!!!!!! Wohoooo!!!!


Back to positives ( sorry that was a little ADD)
1. Not wearing make up will clear up your skin like you can’t believe
2. I’m not sure through the grease but I’m assuming my hair is at an all time healthiest
3. Baby wipes smell awesome- yes a few weeks with no shower sucks at first, but think about how much smaller your carbon foot print will be?! Plus a babywipe on the tush is all time luxury….try it for yourself!
——-side note: ear bud went out again…. :(
4. Have you ever hear rain on an African roof?? It’s beautiful.
5. This culture is all about dancing- I’m all for dancing
6. Nail polish only costs like a dollar and you have nothing but time to try out all those pintrest nails.
7. Now its not Mexican rice and beans- not Chipotle by any means- but rice and beans are delicious and nutritious.
8. When you wear the same jeans everyday they stretch out which makes you think you slimmed out ( you didn’t. African diets are a lie, but you will feel good about it)


So take a deep breath newbies in 10 weeks you will think to yourself ” why did I even want running water- I’m not sure what the fuss is about flushing a toilet, mellowing yellow doesn’t smell THAT bad”

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Reason why Sam is epic #738299237483
Yesterday all the kids were given a piece of candy (who/where from I have no idea) Sam brought his piece to me and asked me to hold on to it til tomorrow so he could give it to Hope for her birthday. He then woke me up this morning to get the candy he was so excited to give it to her. It was precious.

Also the kids were saying today how there have been no volunteers for 4days and I said “what about me?!?!” They said I don’t count because I live here and I am a Rod-something (what ever their last name is) and I told them I was leaving in 20ish days and Peter (who I’m starting to have a soft spot for…even if he is the devil) goes “I will be very very very big sad” — I could have cried

Speaking of Mr Peter. I am not a fan of corporal punishment, especially on a very small person. I don’t think I have ever been hit by anyone in my entire life (although I can remember a few times having soap in my mouth… and we see how well that worked saying that when I’m not around adults or children I aware like a sailor) anyways I have kinda decided here, sometimes a time out just doesn’t get the message across, and what about when the kid thinks time out is fun.. well then you’re screwed. So Sunday Peter is acting terrible and he kept hitting people and pinching me and after I yelled at Him a billion times he goes up to Gloria and pulls one of her braids til the hair was actually falling out of her head. I had enough of it, and in a crazy state of mind sent him to one of the workers to be “punished” (I really don’t want to know what happened in there but he came out crying his eyes out) and to my surprise he was still up to no good. So Monday came around and everytime (which wasn’t very often) he was being nice I would go “PETER LOOK HOW NICE YOU ARE BEING!!!! WHAT A GOOD BOY” and give him a big hug and tell him how proud I was (I made a huge production out of praising him) and by Monday night he was a little angle and Tuesday came and he kept going “mckenda I’m a very very good boy!” And I would tell him he was and that it made me very very happy. And today he has been perfect! Telling me how good he is and that he likes to be ‘very very big happy’ or ’ very very big good’.
I couldn’t be more proud of him!!! And Im thinking I’m going back to hitting someone who can’t fight back is wrong again…. Maybe I always thought that… I’m not sure…

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I thought I was tan until I wiped my arm with a baby wipe. Turns out I was just dirty. The white lines are my clean skin, the rest is my uncleaned skin… Who have I become???

I thought I was tan until I wiped my arm with a baby wipe. Turns out I was just dirty. The white lines are my clean skin, the rest is my uncleaned skin… Who have I become???

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Also one of my biggest fears came true last night—- I puked after eating chipote. And now I’m repulsed at the idea of it. It all started when I was cheap picking out cough syrup so I went with the 50 cent
” lung toxic” and I took a swig of it and puked. I’m thinking now it was more of a vapor rub that I rub on my chest, but the directions weren’t in English so I just guessed… I think I guessed wrong. Poor chipote, we had fun together for so long :(

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I get that there are cultural differences. I mean I minored in sociology, I love cultural differences and all that jazz but some things should just cross all cultures as inappropriate. And the last few days has been full of them. Now o realize that 78% of the time I’m acting out of the norm. I’ve gotten use to looking stupid because I can’t understand someone, or I didn’t know I was suppose to do something, or did something I wasn’t suppose to and no I don’t know how to cook or do laundry even though I’m a woman. But some things just cross my line.

1. Watching porn in the internet cafe- I’m sorry I understand that you probably don’t have a computer at home and you probably don’t get HBO. I’m not here to judge what you do in the privacy of your own home….as long as you do it within the privacy of your own home, but when you are within 5inches of me watching something as….intimate?? As that, you better keep your hands on the key board at all times… Or this is a better idea DON’T DO IT…..gross
2. Clearly talking about someone right in front of them in a language you know they don’t speak. So now I don’t speak another language so I can’t be positive I wouldn’t do this but I know some sign language, enough that I could probably talk about someone behind their back BUT I DON’T because its rude, and no one else knows sing language to talk with. But all I’m saying is of we are in the same room don’t point at me talk in Swahili and then laugh, its just rude.
3. Don’t point out that I’m being “rude” because I can’t hear. I’m surrounded by no one who speaks the same first language as me, which means I stop listening unless I’ve been called by name ( the same way moms stop listening when you yell “MOOOOMMMMM” in a whiney voice I think) . I mean I can’t hear a thing when I’m out in public because 99.9999999999% of the time, I’m not being talked to. So when the random lady passing by me at the grocery store says “hi” to me and I don’t hear it, leave it at that. I don’t need 2 other random people telling me I have “bad manners” for not greeting her, I don’t even know her, why would I want to say hello even if I had heard her…. I could be deaf for all they know or speak French or German or ugandaneze or a billion languages other than English so you take your “hello” else where missy.
4.men and women can only do certain things. Now I never got my mom’s feminist gene, and generally I think girls are stupid and mean and overall I’m scared by them…. But if I was an Olympic gold metalist I wouldn’t want my husband to be the only one interviewed… True story- I’m watching the news and they show a clip of some Kenyan woman winning like the 800 meter run?? Something like that but her HUSBAND got interviewed because he trains with her and “since men are stronger and faster it really gave her an edge to the other women because she has been training with a man” no actually she had an edge because she is a beast of a runner and because she is Kenyan and let’s face it they are fast. Or on a test the kids had at school the question was “________ helps mom in the kitchen” a. Boys b. Girls c. Uncles (side note the male workers are known to the kids as uncles and there is an uncle who runs the kitchen here) so rightfully one of the boys answered c and got it wrong. I have half a mine to go that teacher and tell her how good uncle Jimmy cooks. And then punch her in the face for being so stupid.


This sounded like a rant but I’m actually in a great mood. Have a great day everyone!

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You know someone is really cute when they puke on you, but you feel worse for them for being sick, than for yourself getting puked on your newly handwashed jeans. (Which won’t be washed for another 3 weeks). Nama, blessings, Angel and Dianna are all sick. Puking and pooping all over the place. I feel so bad for them :’( being sick sucks, being sick in an orphanage where you can’t just take a nap or have quiet space or lay on the couch watching tv having your mom rub your back, would be horrible. On top of that the house is being cleaned and sprayed for cockroaches before tomorrows big fundraiser. So no one is allowed in the house, which is kinda nice because blessings just stands by the drain gutter thing and pukes in there (that will be fun to clean) and all the boys are getting their hair shaved, and poor Josh (who is like two) won’t atop crying and touching where his hair use to be. Everyone is crying around here and I can’t help but laugh at them. They are pathetic but Soooo cute.

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We have running water!!!!!! I repeat I can now flush the toilet, wash my hands and take a (cold) shower!!!!!!!! I could cry I’m so excited!!! Also Saturday we are having a benefit party which I’m really excited for. Apparently Jane ( the mom) is late on rent so she decided to throw a party where over 200 people are invited and the kids have been practising songs to sing (which are darling cute) and they bought a goat to serve and yeah I’m really excited!!!!