Day 8 in Nairobi: The Secret of Happiness

Sept 1, 2015

Day 8 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Today was a tough day to me in Nairobi. I went to Korogocho slums and finished my interviews with students, in total, I did 11 interviews. Also, I visited 4 students’ home to see their living environment. By visiting each student’s living place, I realized how tough and hard their lives are. Their living standards are all below 1 dollar a day. Some only have a mother; some don’t even have parents; some have to take care of the younger siblings even they are also needed to be taken care of. Normally the kid’s house has only one room, one bed for parents and the children are sleeping on the floor. Few people have to share one blanket, some even don’t have blankets. The houses I visited are extremely simple, there’s no toilet or bathroom, even kitchen in the house. When I entered the room I can hardly breathe. I had to hold my breath all the time.

Now I understand what is the true “slum” and what it means “struggling in life”. This is a different world that no one wanted to explore, but it covers the biggest part of the world. Poverty, diseases, deaths are knocking on their door every minute. Nevertheless, children smile without hesitating, they open their heart straightly to you, a stranger. They will walk toward you and say “how are you?”. If you replied them, they would be so happy and give you a super smile.

Some will show their hands and wanted to shake hand with you. For them, you’re a person who comes from another planet, you are so mysterious and you’re welcomed by them. They all called me “white” or “Chinese”. I felt like I’m a movie star that every kid would start shouting “Chinese! Chinese! Chin chin chao chao!” when I was passing by. That was really funny and fun. Even when I was in the car, kids on the street saw me through the window and they started chasing my car, knocking on my window and started talking to me: “Do you know kong fu? Do you understand what I’m saying? King Kong chin chin”. I couldn’t say anything but laughing at them.

Yes, this is African kids, the most warmest and friendly spirits that I have ever met in the world. Ironically, poverty remains one a pure heart while money tends to pollute one’s heart. When you’re nothing, you feel like you can be anything because you have nothing to loss; when you have everything, you feel like you have nothing because you have already lost yourself. So, when you feel like you have lost yourself, come to Africa, come to see the kids, they will make you understand everything about life and death. You will find yourself once again at here. And you will learn the secret of happiness.


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