Squeezing 19 on the #44

A week ago, I arrived in Kisumu, Kenya after a very long journey. The first week has been very interesting here in Kisumu. I have been getting to know the area slowly and have been adapting to my new home for the next two months. I have moved into my homestay and have quickly settled into my new room and bunk bed.

Simply said, my first impression of Kisumu, Kenya is that it is nothing like anything in the US. The roads are mostly dirt, the buildings are not very tall, and the idea of personal space is nonexistent. Two days ago, after going into town with the other interns, I was tasked with getting back to my homestay alone. I knew I had to catch one of the number 44 vans to get there. As the van approached, I hopped in the 15 passenger vehicle and was on my way. After people kept piling in, there were a total of 19 passengers. People were squeezed into the van like a clown car. I was stuck in the back corner pressed against the side of the van. I was sweating profusely, and thinking about how this is something I would never experience in America. Ignoring the apparent safety concerns, I was able to appreciate the cramped van. No textbook, movie, or blog post can truly describe the feeling of being cramped in that van other than physically being there. That is what I have appreciated most about this experience thus far. Being able to see and experience how Kenyans live first hand will be the most rewarding part of this summer. I look forward to the coming weeks and being able to experience more of this new and exciting place I am in.

Dan Rustico ’15