Affinity: Kenya & Tanzania
Upon arriving in Nairobi, I was extremely excited and eager to see what this trip had in store. I was slightly upset because I departed from the United States on July 25th and arrived in Nairobi, Kenya early on the 27th one day after President Obama had left for Ethiopia to continue with the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Kenya welcomed Obama with open arms and the entire city was filled with joy. Aside from not only documenting and telling the untold African story, another one of my goals was to travel from school to school to provide assistance wherever it was needed. I arrived in Vihiga Kenya two days after landing in Nairobi and that same day I decided to pay a visit to Vihiga primary school. My cousin set up an appointment with the principal and we were granted permission to visit. The school was in terrible shape, I had a completely different interpretation of how I wanted the school to look. The school served approximately 400 students and about 60-80 students assigned to each class. Majority of the classrooms had no lights and there weren't even enough toilets to accommodate the large student population. I was immediately humbled, and though to myself, how can I make a difference? My mother and I went from class to class and spoke to students and answered any questions they had for us. After answering questions we informed the class that my family and I would do our best to help improve their school. After all of this, it was time for us to take some pictures. The kids sprinted towards me after I took their pictures and none of them had seen or touched a camera before. It was at that moment when I knew work needed to be done.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting President Barack Obama's grandmother. She welcomed me with open arms and spoke to me in great detail about her family history. I didn't understand her completely because my ability to understand the Swahili language is not the greatest; however, my entire family is fluent, so they were able to translate a great deal for me. She expressed that Obama's father was an extremely smart and clever man, much like our current president. Barack Obama, Sr. came to America on a scholarship in 1958 and excelled greatly.
The most amazing thing about meeting the president’s grandmother was witnessing her longevity and wisdom. Although she is elderly, her strength and intelligence overshadow any sign of old age. We only spoke for roughly 35 minutes, but the conversation was one of the best I have ever had. Not just because she is Barack Obama’s grandmother, but her substance and genuine candidness is something I wished to embody one day. When our dialogue concluded, I was proud to donate money to assist her orphanage and take a picture with her to forever cherish this moment.
"Children so eager to learn with not a care in the world. Education is the passport to the future, and these 6th graders are on a first class flight. Be blessed, love, laugh and live."- Amankwa
My family and I are building this school from the ground up. Immediate changes will be made.
The children that attend this school don't have lights in majority of their classrooms, a library with little to no books and barely have enough toilets to accommodate their school population. The AUCCAM is sponsoring Vihiga Primary school to improve the learning environment for current and future students.
Translation: I love smiling!
Words from two year old Scofield, who has a vocabulary of a four year old. Like majority of the village, he doesn't have a television so he entertains himself by playing with goats, chickens and cows in his backyard.
6th Grader: How's life in America?
My response: A lot easier than life here.
Every child who was brave enough to ask a question received a picture. She was extremely happy, when she received the picture and she that she would cherish it forever. It's amazing how something so small can add so much value to someones life. Be blessed people, life is amazing.
Mimi ni mpishi ya watoti kwenye hi shule ya Vihiga Primary School.
Translation: "I am the cook for the Vihiga Primary School."
I was very fortunate to meet this lovely woman today. She is the cook for the Vihiga Primary School. While her day to day job isn't easy, she finds joy in single handedly cooking for 200 staff members and students on a daily basis.
More updates coming soon...