During the last presidential election in Kenya there was violence which resulted in the evacuation of Peace Corps Volunteers. This time around Peace Corps wanted to be prepared in case we needed to be evacuated for this year’s presidential election. All 110 PCVs met up in a nice remote area for consolidation. We spent about a week and half there. It’s not often that PCVs get to meet so many other PCVs in their country so it was a great experience! For the most part, things were calm across the country so we got to return to our sites via Peace Corps vehicles (was SO nice not having to drag all of our things across Kenya via public transportation).
The week prior to and after consolidation I think was stressful for most of us. We didn’t know if we would ever return to our villages again, we didn’t know if we should say good-bye to our students/community members, we didn’t know if we would get to see loved ones in the States who we hadn’t seen in over a year, we didn’t know if we would be living in the States or Kenya in just a few weeks, we didn’t know if we would have a job in just a couple of weeks…..then there was the packing! We had to make an inventory of everything in our house, pack things up to the point where if we were evacuated then certain things we left behind would be shipped to us yet not pack everything up in case we did come back, we had to make a few piles (things to be shipped, things to give to people, things to take with us to consolidation, PC properties, etc). Then once we returned to sites we had to unpack everything, get settled back into things, come to terms that we were going to be able to continue our job and projects in Kenya, and readjust to Kenya culture after getting to be ourselves without judgement around other Americans for a week and half.
Things are great now! I’m back into the flow of things and am glad to be back at my site with my kiddos! It’s crazy though, the first term is coming to an end already!! Final exams should be this coming week then we will start the annual sports events that occur during the first term.
Hopefully I’ll do a bit better about blogging. It’s kind of hard now because I’ve forgotten what isn’t “normal” to Americans. What was at one point new and unusual to me is part of my daily life and I don’t think about it as much anymore.