23 Feb Unexpected Returns
Orin Levine, The Huffington Post
In 1986, as a sophomore at Gettysburg College, I accompanied my dad, a pediatrician and vaccine researcher, on a two-week trip to Rwanda. I was instantly smitten with Africa, and in the fall of 1987 I returned–this time to Kenya, as part of a study abroad program conducted by the School for International Training.
The program taught me a lot, but the real highlight was the month I spent living with a Kenyan family in Kibera, a community on the outskirts of Nairobi. My ‘Kenyan mom,’ Priscilla, was a purser on Kenya Airways; my siblings included Bonita, 19; Emma, 5; and their brother, 12-year old Shuggah. They took me in and accepted me as a part of the family, and I can honestly say that I learned more from them than from any other part of my college education. I managed to see them again in the fall of 1988, but sadly, we lost contact as I went on to graduate school in pursuit of a career in global health.