when i was 17, i went to kenya.
it probably took about 2 years for me to stop talking about it on a daily basis.
(i have so many stories to tell and feelings to share about this... maybe i'll blog more about it someday.)
it made such a huge impact on my life.
it changed the way i saw everything.
it changed the person i wanted to be.
it changed the way i felt about the world and the people in it.
it showed me that the human heart is capable of loving so much more than i thought it could.
and while the conditions these people live in is very, very sad, i do not pity them.
i wish that i could give them everything they need {water, clothing, food, shelter, parents}
but...i think that would change who they are.
i think they are so kind, and humble, and happy because all they have is each other.
it's all they have to live for.
i am not suggesting we all starve ourselves and sleep on the streets,
but maybe if we didn't get so caught up in the monotony of our lives
and paid more attention to our relationships
we'd all be a little better off.

I still miss kenya.
But i took lots and lots of pictures to make sure i would remember their faces.

fyi - i obviously did not take a blow dryer or curling iron with me. i was roughing it!
(which is easy to do, i guess, when there's no electricity...)


*juli* said...

I've never been out of the country unless you count Canada and a caribbean cruise. But I've always wanted to do humanitarian work somewhere like Kenya. It sounds amazing. I would LOVE the experience. would you mind emailing me and giving me more details about your trip, and how you were able to go, and all that jazz??? julitaylor at gmail dot com

Matt and Katelyn Risenmay said...

I totally remember when you went to Kenya. Jason and I came to your house for some reason and you showed us pictures and told us a bunch of stories. It was awesome to hear about it. So awesome, in fact, that I told my little sister all about it and she went to Ghana this last Summer. She loved it too and is planning on going back this Summer. What an amazing experience! I wish that I had done something like this because now, it would be way too hard to find babysitters, the money to go, etc.

The Rowburys said...

I've always wanted to go to Africa! Thats awesome that you were able to. Maybe when my kids are grown and out of the house Brandon and I can go!

The Searle Family said...

That is such a neat experience! I want to do something like that one day. I remember you getting home from Africa very soon before I started working with you at Wingers. I like your blonde hair:)

The Silvas said...

What an awesome experience you must have had! I'd love to go there someday!

Lindsay said...

Kali I will never forget YM/YW we had where you talked about all your adventures there. It was so inspiring and made all of us want to go there someday.

susette said...

I remember many evenings when I would come to your room and just visit and you would cry about Kenya and express how you wanted to go back so very badly! You did have a wonderful experience there.

Jillian said...

Something I always wanted to do. Thank you for sharing that Kali!

Curtis, Jen and Shaylie said...

I remember when you came back and went to the grocery store with your mom and how upset you were with how much we had. I remember that story very much - it really impacted me. I wish I would have done something like that.

ari said...

Love your selfless service. Very neat and inspiring. I have a niece that has joined the Peace Corp right now and is having an incredible experience. She will be with them for 17 months, I think. I think you are right about NOT wanting to really change their lives. People in those types of situations do seem to have something that we only try to have along with ALL of our STUFF! I think the two don't go together, we need to SORT it out. Thanks for the reminder!

the hopkins said...

What an incredible opportunity and beautiful pictures! I really wish I would have done something like this when I could have :( I'm glad it's so special to you :)

Launi said...

What did you go there for? Were you part of a group or something? I would love to hear more about it. I have always wanted to see a giraffe in the wild. Not a poor sad creature that is locked up somewhere. I went to Egypt, but not actual Africa.

Ms. Berg said...

Remember that one time we unsuccessfully tried to go to Africa? And we printed all those letters on pink paper and used all of my perfume to spray on them like when Elle Woods applied for law school? And then me signed them? And no one gave us money? I still want to go.

McKenna said...

I remember that! I am still so jealous. I would love to serve a mission in Gahna or Kenya.

LyndiLou said...

What an amazing adventure!!! I would love to hear more about this too!!! These pictures are beautiful! I wish I would have been braver or more informed or SOMEthing... and done something great like this! I'll have to keep planning for that!!!