Here in Kenya while my work has been the source of many frustrations, one area I feel very fortunate in is that my coworkers have been so wonderful. Here in Mikinduri, the local eRoots Manager who I work most closely with, has gone out of his way to make sure I get the most out of my stay at this site. On Saturday he set up a visit for us to see the Michimikuru tea factory. We took a motorbike for a thirty minute ride past forests, rivers and acres and acres of tea plantations. Surrounding the factory itself were more than 600 acres of tea. At the factory we drove around some of these tea fields, and from on top of these hills we could see all the way to Mount Kenya.
After visiting the tea factory I was brought back to Patrick’s home to meet his family. What I didn’t know was that that day his parents and some other relatives had come to town to visit him, and he had spent most of the day with me while they waited! I felt a bit ridiculous, but they were extremely kind and welcoming. I met the whole family, including his adorable 8-week-old son. I was blown away by their kindness and generosity towards me.
My other coworkers here in Mikinduri and before in Gilgil, have taken Rachel and I shopping, showed us around the markets, and invited us to their homes to meet their families and share meals. I always feel that people are going out of their way to welcome us and helped show me a lot of what there is to love about Kenya. It can be really easy to get frustrated here, and despite our many miscommunications and sometimes disagreements, I do feel that my coworkers have helped me to navigate things, and have welcomed me with a genuine warmth and friendship which I did not expect to find in my short stays at each site.