Haley: Eastlands field trip

October 13, 2010

We had a field trip today for our Development in Kenya class. We drove to the “Eastlands” to see what some people did for work… I don’t think I would have believed it if I hadn’t seen it for myself. As we drive past what looks like the slums, we go down this road that I would have NEVER have thought to walk down. The bus stops(?) and my professor says, “We’re Hereeeee!!!!!” WHAT?! So we get off the bus and start walking down the road, as we keep walking things start to get louder and louder. I hear this Clanking sound and am not sure where it’s coming from. There are MOUNDS upon MOUNDS of pots and pans, metal appliances, grills… What is all this doing here? We make our way through these products weaving in and out of piles.

The smell reminded me how the monkey-bars would make my hands smell after a day at the park when I was a kid. Rust, metal, and sweat was in the air… the only thing different thought what that I had a feeling “fun” wasn’t involved either… My professor stopped to say something to us, but at this point that clanking was so loud I couldn’t understand what he was saying. We walk into a section of this place and—- well, now I understand what I’m hearing. Just men upon men hammering away at these scraps of metal, creating all the products I was just hopping around. Each clank perfected in making curves and bending it this way and that… I do not think I can even put into words the work that these men put into this. I don’t even think I can describe HOW… But if this kind of work hit home to me; I don’t even WANT to know what seeing Child labor would do to my heart… gah. (These products that these men make are usually bought by lower-middle class income families, schools, and some companies… and they do this everyday of the week…)

When we left there we drove all around and past the Houses of all the different Nations Embassies… Okay so here we are in Kenya. Literally JUST drove through the slums (which HOLY-hell I don’t even think I can describe the amount of trash pile ups on the side of the roads… the pollution factor in this city is unreal and a problem in its own). But yeah we drove past the slums and then all of a sudden, BAM: mansions galore. We just went from trash on the sides of the road, shacks, and man made appliances to a place that belongs in a catalog; HOW does this seem to always happen? It’s like two different worlds within a block of each other.

These places were HUGE! We had fun naming out all the National Flags as we drove by. When we drove past Canada’s: WOW! They had a pool, a tennis court, a HUGE place, and from what our professor was telling us a ton of land. We finally drove past a gate that, lo and behold, had the American Flag. We couldn’t see past the gate, but I guess my professor said that this was just a SMALL building that the US owned, and that the real US embassy was unbelievable……. hmmmm reality just sinks in as I remembered 10 minutes ago the children on the side of the road without shoes….

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