My time spent in Kilungu Hills, Kenya, working with KUSARD is one that will stay with me for the rest of my life. When I first arrived in Kenya I knew nothing about what to expect from the people or the culture, but I found myself quickly absorbed into an extraordinary cultural experience that would forever change my outlook on the world.

I remember my first time walking by myself the local market place. I was afraid of getting lost despite the fact that there was only one road in town; however, I soon realized that I would not be alone in my walk as everyone who I saw along the way stopped what they were doing to greet me and walk a short way with me. Even if they were originally headed in the opposite direction! It was completely the opposite of the attitude that we have towards strangers in the U.S. It seemed that people were as curious about me as I was about them and some even thanked me for being there! This warm reception that I got on the road extended to the convent where I lived with the Sisters of the Precious Blood. They cared for me and introduced me to everything about Kenyan life from the cooking to the social norms.

DRAMA IN PROGRESSDRAMA IN PROGRESSHIV/AIDS DRAMAFor me the most memorable and profound of my experiences in Kenya were the months I spent teaching drama at St. Lucia Girls School. The girls I taught were not much younger than myself, but our life experiences had been vastly different. While I had always been encouraged in all of my academic pursuits to follow my dreams, these girls were faced with very little options for their future and had been scarcely encouraged to indulge in creative thinking.

DRAMA IN PROGRESSMEGAN IN A GROUP PHOTOTogether myself and the 30 girls I was in charge of created and performed 4 plays about HIV/AIDS and the stigma endured by those who suffer from it. On my last day at St. Lucia we gathered the entire student body out on the soccer field and presented our plays to them. In all of my years of studying, writing, and performing theater nothing has been so rewarding as watching the enthusiasm which the girls brought to this work. For all of the wonderful memories and joy the girls gave to me, I hope that at the very least I could give them some knowledge about how to collaborate and create art and some hope that they can create a community that does not have to live in fear of the HIV/AIDS plague.

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