December 16

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180 days in Kisumu, Kenya – it’s time to say Goodbye!

It’s my last week here in Kisumu, Kenya, and now I am really looking forward to start my return travel on the 19th of December and to arrive hopefully safe and sound in the morning of the 20th December at Stuttgart, Germany, and to hug my wife at the airport arrival gate.

I am not very good in saying Goodbye and so my last post on the GSK PULSE Blog will be a short one.

My time as a PULSE volunteer was challenging, exciting, ambitious, sometimes frustrating and often motivating, and it definitely broadened my horizon in a lot of aspects. I feel still fortunate to get the chance from GSK to make this ‘once in a lifetime’ experience and I would never like to miss it!

Apropos ‘miss it’ … here’s a short list of things I will miss … or I will not miss …

What I will miss:
• The smile of the children and their never ending question ‘Mzungu, how are you?’
• A lot of nice people I have met here in Kenya during my PULSE assignment
• The stunning nature and the amazing animal kingdom of Kenya
• The regular dinner with all other PULSE volunteers here in Kisumu and the opportunity to share my experiences and challenges with the others
• The sunset at the Dunga Hill camp on Lake Victoria and … of course … number 5 (Rami, my friend, you know what I mean)
• ‘African Time’ because sometimes we are too time focused and stressed … and to slow down can be helpful … sometimes … hakuna matata!

What I will not miss:
• Power outages and water supply issues
• The terrible road conditions and the horrible traffic without of any rules
• The constant air pollution based on waste burning and exhaust fumes
• To pay often a higher ‘Mzungu Price’ for the same service a native has to pay less for
• Ugali – a tasteless white version of polenta – Kenyan people love it!
• ‘African Time’ … I know I listed it to the things I will miss but I have to list it also to the things I will not miss because sometimes it becomes too slow here in Africa and then ‘African Time’ is a real hurdle

Did I learn something during my 6 months as a GSK PULSE volunteer in Kisumu, Kenya? Yes, I truly learned a lot.
Did I change? I am not sure but Leo Buscaglia said “Change is the end result of all true learning” and so I think I’ve changed.

CHANGE
The photo was taken by me at the Mount Elgon Nature Park

Please visit my Flickr page if you want to see more photos of Kisumu:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/joemay1968/