Arrival – Nairobi, Kenya

As we drove from the airport to the orphanage, I remembered the smells and sounds of Nairobi. The battered shacks on the sides of the road selling everything from pineapples to tires. The torn and tattered rags that the vendors wore. The black smoke coming from almost all the cars exhaust pipes. The endless amount of trash littering the sides of the bumpy broken roads.

We pulled into the orphanage and I was introduced around before being shown to my room. I was going to be sharing with an Italian girl called Valeria. All the volunteers had shared rooms in a long two story building across from the childrens` cottages. There was a school house which doubled as a meeting space for church and a house where the nuns lived. A smaller building which housed the kitchen was close to the large office and medical building. In the back was a big garden and chickens as well as a garbage incinerator. This is the area where the small graveyard was which kept 15 little graves covered in flowers. The 5 cottages surrounded a large open space with a sandy playground and grassy area.

I took the time on the weekend to get myself acquainted with the other volunteers and some of the staff. I settled into my room which was very basic yet surprisingly cozy. There were two rooms, one had a single bed and a small kitchen which was where I slept. Then you walk through another room with a desk and another single bed which was where Valeria slept. Then there was a small bathroom with a cemented in shower which only had cold water.

My first few days were spent in bed and resting as I had still residue from the illness I had caught in Egypt. I felt terrible about it and tried to put on my brave face. But Valeria insisted that I get checked out by the medical facility, just in case of malaria. Turned out I was fine and after a few days I was as good as new.

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