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It only took one walk through Nairobi, Kenya, to steal my heart, but five months later I was still in love.
Within one block of each other sit five of the most powerful governing bodies in the world: the UN along with the US, Saudi, Iranian, and Canadian embassies. In the middle of Earth's greatest power and wealth, I stood in muddy streets filled with the poorest of the poor. I could not, and still do not, understand how the two classes could morally coexist.
The city is populated by diplomats, rich Kenyans, UN workers, missionaires, Indian businessmen, British settlers, and refuegges. Amongst the diversity, the poor Kenyan class gets left behind.
I could hire a driver for the day and pay him 1500 shillings, about 18 dollars. I was dumbfounded trying to comphrehend how someone could live off that. Despite the lack of wealth, I was left speechless by the Kenyan's resiliance. How could families who have so little and communites desperate for water be so happy?
Their unconditional joy amazes me. I'm left in disbelief and admiration when I consider my housekeepers who served me wholeheartedly. For having so little, the Kenyan people gave me so much.
On the flipside, how can the upperclasses accept it? When I drove by a child sleeping on the street or walked passed a distressed mother my heart broke. I have yet to grasp how someone could accept the poverty as permanent- and not feel obligated to bring change.