St. Gregory student finding that despite the differences in cultures, the day-to-day issues are the sameby kenya on Jun. 21, 2013, under Life
Editor’s Note: The students will be on safari over the weekend without internet access. The next blog will be posted including highlights of the adventure after they return on Monday .
June 20, 2013
By Finian Lowery, St. Gregory Class of ‘14
One of the best things about this trip is that we have had the opportunity to interact with Kenyans on a very personal level.
Today, Meg Aliffi, my teaching partner, and I were invited to Lois Maina’s house, one of the teachers we work with at Irigithathi Primary School. Irigithathi means “first-born” in Kikuyu, the language of the ethnic group living in this location. Irigithathi Primary School was the first school to open in this area in 1953.
At around noon, just when the slate-colored clouds broke and the sun appeared, we began our voyage to her house, about four kilometers away. John and Simon, two other teachers at Irigithathi, accompanied us and I got a crash course from them on the edible plants and berries we found along way.
When we arrived at Ms. Maina’s house by way of overgrown footpaths snaking through farms, we were greeted by her cows mooing loudly at us. Inside her house we enjoyed a delicious meat and vegetable stew, accompanied by flavorful rice.
I engaged in an invigorating conversation about the differences in American and Kenyan politics with John Machira, and it was educational for both of us. These interactions, as I sit in others’ homes enjoying a home-cooked traditional Kenyan meal, are the most authentic and interesting part of this trip.
One realization I have come to through talking with others about the differences between our countries is that people are still people regardless of nationality or country of residence. Many of the social problems that exist in America are shared in Kenya, and vice versa.
While we often perceive our experiences in this world to be unique, we all struggle with the same issues and problems around the globe. Certainly there are relative differences, but in one way or another, our struggles have a common denominator. The people I have talked to, the meals I have eaten, and the homes I have visited have opened my eyes to the true nature of the world.