It’s easy to be taken in by the incredible sights and experiences Kenya has to offer; the large mammals, the vast landscapes, the sprawl of humans; however, I’m finding that I appreciate the smaller moments and sights of Kenya.

My favorite thing is the children.  From my new “sisters” at my homestay to the kids we see out in the community, the children never fail to make me smile.  When children see us out in the community, they stop what they’re doing, smile broadly and wave; sometimes the young boys even show off their martial arts moves for us.  Even if you’re having an awful day, seeing these beautiful children will automatically make your day so much better.

My next favorite sights are the trees.  I have two new favorite trees, the yellow-barked acacia trees and the jacaranda trees.  Inside Kilimanjaro Base Camp, there are thickets of yellow-barked acacia trees and when the sun is setting, the sun shines on the trees and they look like are glowing.  The jacaranda trees are gorgeous.  They have beautiful lilac blossoms that stand out amidst the greens, yellows, and browns of the landscape.  They are magical.

One of my favorite parts of my recent days is 6:00 PM.  At this time I always wander towards the kitchen and check to see if the chefs, Arthur and Motero, need any help preparing dinner.  The past few days I have been “fruit girl”, in charge of cutting up the fruit.  It’s not much, but this has become the most relaxing time of my day. In the kitchen, cutting fruit, and talking to the chefs, I forget every worry the hectic days here might bring and can focus on the present.

It was Thanksgiving recently, which always makes me more aware of all of my blessings.  I am so thankful to be in Kenya, experiencing the grand things and the small things (though not so thankful for the numerous bugs).  I am thankful for an opportunity to be immersed in a new, fascinating culture and to make relationships with the students and locals.  Blessings, large and small, are everywhere.