“Are you a Kenyan?”

“Are you a Kenyan?”

“Sorry, I am not a Kenyan and I do not know how to speak Kiswahili.”

” Really? Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure.”

Everyday at least one person ask me if I am a Kenyan. This happens at KMET, at the hospitals, at the markets, and at some restaurants. I think it’s funny because the look on their faces is always of dissappointment or of surprise because “I really look like a Kenyan.” Other than my skin color others say that my facial structure resembles that of a Luo, which is the local tribe here in the western province of Kisumu, Kenya.

I have been using this to my advantage. For weeks now I have been walking around with a sense of pride but not of arrogance. I know that if my skin tone was that of a Caucasian, for example, then I would stick out like a sore thumb and people would know that I am definitely not a Kenyan. But because I “blend in” so well I can fool people by acting like I know how to get to town or to the District Hospital all by myself.

I can say that I fit it very well not only because I have the same skin tone as most people here but because I am outgoing and I have a good sense of humor. The staff of KMET are relatively young (between age 20 and 45). Some of the staffs I work with can be silly and some love telling jokes. I am not very good at telling jokes but I love to laugh. Getting along with the staffs and my host family is very important to me because it makes the experience better. This is one of the reasons I am having a blast in Kenya!

Jenn 😀