We are not tourists.

What a day it has been. After 33+ hours of travel, we finally arrived at the Nairobi airport. The thing is… our luggage didnt arrive with us. Apparently, it is in Ghana at the airport of one of our redirected layovers. When we finally left the airport with our carry-ons and lost baggage slips, we quickly realized that we were in a whole new world.

Driving through the city streets surrounding the airport were no different then home (well except for the nature preserve right next to the airport). Traffic was crazy and the rush hour timeslot didn’t help. The biggest surprise for me was all of the people walking. Thousands of people along our 90 minute commute were walking to jobs near the city. Walking across busy roads, walking through fields, and walking everywhere in between, coming from all different directions. Bony, our driver and transport for the Agape program, said many people walk because they can’t afford any other transportation. Now I’m not talking a stroll to work, I’m talking walking miles and miles one way. Just something I wasn’t expecting I guess.

When we got to our village, it was, a village. Marketplaces everywhere. Not what I was thinking though. Not full of bracelets or baskets or colorful handmade jewelry. But full of necessities to support the local community. Rice bags. Clothes. Bananas. Tons of bananas.

Thus, we are not tourists. We are not staying in a hotel and buying knick-knacks and souvenirs. We are living the culture. Our house is one of their houses. We are eating the local food and taking the local transport to and from.

As we are getting assimilated, differences are the new normal. Experiencing everything is in our plan books. And our plan books are constantly changing with every new turn and adventure. Authenticity is our goal and we are on the way to achieving it.

We are not tourists. We are the culture.

– Miss K

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