The generosity of Sam

Another great week here in Kenya! I seem to have a very good grasp on transportation and the way of life around here. This past weekend, the interns had the pleasure of going to Sam Owoko’s house for lunch. Sam is the Projects Manager at KMET, which means he is second in command here. We had first met Sam during his visit to Gettysburg in the spring. He was very excited for our trip and was looking forward to seeing us in May. After that trip, it was a few months until I saw Sam again during my first few days at KMET. He immediately came up to me, remembered my name, and asked all about how I was doing. This struck me as very nice and impressive because not only was he going out of his way to greet me and ask me about my trip, but he remembered my name, despite having over 100 other employees’ names to remember. Almost every day since, Sam has greeted me and asked how I was doing.

Sam Owoko

Sam Owoko, KMET Programmes Manager

Randomly during our first week, Sam came up to us and just said, “You guys are coming to my house for lunch on Saturday.” We were a little confused because it was the first time we had heard anything about this lunch plan, but we were happy and excited to go. Sam had just arranged for us to go to his house for lunch on Saturday. So on Saturday, the three of us made our way to Sam’s house and while sitting in his living room, he introduced us to some of his family, his pets and really made us feel welcome. He told us that he wanted to make sure we were given some traditional Kenyan meals while we were here. As we waited for his daughter to cook the meal we talked with Sam about this and that and it just seemed like he was so genuinely interested in us which made me feel very comfortable.

Finally we sat down to eat a traditional Kenyan meal called Namachobo. It is a BBQ beef meal which was really good. The meat was served with rice, Ugali, and some vegetables. After a few minutes I asked Sam if he was going to eat some and he told us that he doesn’t eat red meat. So not only did Sam invite us to his home to feed us this wonderful meal, he served us a meal that he wasn’t going to eat. After we ate, Sam told us that he wanted us to come again in two weeks and that he take us to the market to get supplies and then he would teach us how to make some Kenyan food. This again sounded wonderful to us.

After going home and thinking about how Sam has treated us, I knew I had to blog about it. Someone who we barely knew greeting us every day, inviting us into his home for a meal he couldn’t even eat, and inviting us back again to teach us how to cook was remarkable. He was doing this to make sure we got the experience he thought we deserved. This hospitality is rarely found. Someone who has such a busy life with his job and family took time out of his day to show us some Kenyan hospitality. Sam could easily have gone the whole summer just casually saying hi and not saying much to us, but he always goes out of his way to make us feel at home and make us feel comfortable in this new place. I really appreciate how Sam has treated us during the first two weeks and he is making the experience more enjoyable through a little Kenyan hospitality.

Dan Rustico ’15
Kisumu, Kenya