My time in Kenya has officially come to a close, and I can’t help but feel a bit homesick for KBC. We had an emotional day, and while I was grinning from ear to ear making the drive from Arusha to Rhotia, up and over the hills with a gorgeous view of baobabs and Lake Manyara, with dinner came our daily reflection and with reflection came tears. We all got pretty choked up thinking about all the friends we left behind in Kenya. But being sad is okay, because it just really means you’ve formed meaningful bonds and had wonderful experiences and while being sad is rough, we’ve grown so much from our time in Kenya and will continue to grow in Tanzania.
And a good friend of mine pointed out, if you are bound and determined to come back, you will.
And after that was when I started crying at dinner. Because while I was sad to leave KBC, I was so happy to find myself back in Tanzania. I was in a place that I missed every day when I was back in the States. I had made it back to Moyo Hill (and was greeted with a huge hug from Askari Bura!!) and I was sitting in the same spot I had sat 16 months earlier wondering how I was ever going to get myself back here. It was really then that I accepted leaving Kenya. While I miss KBC, I have the memories forever and I’m still surrounded by people who are able to share them with me. And I know that I will make it back to KBC again because, honestly, if there’s one thing about me that I know, it’s that if I say I’m going to do something: I do it.
Also this is really stupid, but something that made me happy: They’re still using the compost bucket Kira and I painted (poorly) one day. I went to throw out a banana peel and I just kind of stared at the bucket for a minute wondering why it seemed more familiar than the other buckets until it struck me that the oddly sized polka dots were my own handiwork. I grinned kind of stupidly to myself about that.
I’m so glad the painting I made for KBC is much more big and obnoxious and has our group name on it. Future cohorts are going to wonder why EVERYTHING says “Fall 2012” on it, but it’s only because we legitimately got involved in every part of camp. KBC left its mark on us, just as we left our mark on KBC.
Kwa heri, Kenya. Our paths will cross again.