I have learnt so so much over the past 3 years. Kenya has shaped me for life and given me the first and possibly second rung on my career ladder. Looking ahead I also think it is impossible that I won't visit or even possibly live here again, but this chapter, working with A Rocha down in Watamu, is at an end.
I hope that I am more patient. I know I am more rounded when it comes to understanding the human condition. I am also leaving knowing much much more about myself, although I tend to believe this happens to people in their early 20s no matter what they are doing.
As I was waiting at the bus stop in Gede yesterday with a few friends who were sending me on my way, we were discussing friends, work, the news etc. like I had always lived in that place. In the end the place had really become like home. You know where everything is, you know the people to get you what you need, and if I ever went away I was glad to get back to my little house in Down Valley. However I am not sad to be leaving, I had some amazing amazing times and am leaving with no regrets.
I am really interested to see how it will be living in the UK now. Although I've visited for small periods of time I haven't lived there properly and haven't seen an entire winter in a long time! Will I slip back into my old lifestyle? Will I find a new niche, as the person I am now? Will I enjoy it or will it always be missing something that Kenya brought into my life? I don't need to find out immediately however. First I am headed to Mozambique for a research trip and my first time to another African country (I never left Kenya in all this time!). I think that place will provide a really interesting comparison to here as well, although I am nervous about being a foreigner again, with not very much language.
I think whatever happens next I am glad that it has never been boring and I have always been learning and moving forward. The tough times nearly broke me, and the good times have given me more amazing experiences than some people get in a life time. As I move ahead I am excited for the new possibilities and new places I will see. I think I will always be aware of Kenya and what is going on here. Najivunia kuwa mkenya