I look at Americans I know in Kenya who have been living here for 20 years and love working in Kenyan. Going back to America is something they'll have to do one day, but it's not an exciting thing. I feel like living in America, for me, is not very exciting either, but I don't think I'm one of those people who will want to live in Kenya forever. I'm one of those people whose "I-hate-Kenya-days" are becoming more frequent, and I don't know if the rose-colored glasses of my first year here will ever return. I definitely have a lot of wonderful moments where Kenya is the only place I want to be... the beach, being at the children's center, hanging out with my British co-workers, chillin' with friends, hopping a plane down to Tanzania or over to Uganda. But I also feel like Kenya is turning me into a cynical person.
A couple weeks ago I struck up a conversation with a recent college graduate from America who had a grant to travel the world studying democratic governments. He was a very smart guy from a prestigious school, and he proceeded to tell me how things SHOULD be working in Kenya and Africa, if only they would do this or that. I added that "Kenya will never work well because the government is corrupt and only think of their pocketbooks, a secondary education only gets Kenyans a working-class job as a gardner or houseworker so what is the point, and you can only help one or two people really, you'll never fix the big picture here. It's impossible." His idealism went against everything I said and he thought I was very wrong to say all of this, but after living here over two years, this is the reality I see. Kenya makes even the most optimistic person, cynical. I could go on and on why Kenya will never be "fixed" according to Western standards, and I hate how the reality of life here has taken my optimism and buried it deep within me where I don't see it for many days, sometimes weeks. This is the reality of life in Kenya. This is why my days are numbered in this country. Because some day soon I would like to be an optimistic person again.