Tuesday, April 07, 2009 Comment0 Comments

So today Deanna, Caitlyn, and I got to meet with this wonderful fellow named George. George is a student here at K-State who is actually from Nyeri, Kenya (the town I am working in case you somehow forgot). He stumbled upon our Facebook group (funny world we live in) and let us know about his ties to the city. Meeting him was seriously an awesome opportunity and it is always so amazing to hear people's stories and listen to their outlooks on life, especially when that person is from a completely seperate culture. During our meeting with George, he told us something that completely blew me away and really resonated with me. When talking about the people in Kenya, George pointed out how community oriented they are. This does not surprise me as many cultures around the world are like this. But the part that was really incredible was what he said after that. George told us that when you are around people in Nyeri and other parts of Kenya they are happy. As simple as that, they are happy. You see, in Kenyan culture, as I learned in Swahili class, it is rude to greet somebody by saying that you are anything but "nzuri, salama, etc" which mean good/fine and peaceful. No matter how bad your day may be, it is fine. George furthered this point by saying that when one is around others in Kenya, you are always happy because whatever else may be going on in your life is left aside for that moment. For them, happiness is not about personal belongings and the collection of goods. It is about others and fellowship. As George pointed out to us, so long as they have food, clothes, and shelter they shall remain happy. You see, happiness to them is about the shared experience of life with those around you. Not having a wealth of goods or the latest crazed gadget is not reason to hide and seclude oneself to them, but rather a reason to seek out the company of others and truly be happy. I left the meeting tonight thinking, hoping, praying, that if there is one thing that I am able to take away from my experience this summer it is that mindset. It is that belief and faith in happiness.

always seeking,


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