Students spend most of their day interacting with Kenyan teachers and students, learning about their way of life and culture. It is not uncommon for a SLIK student to be invited to the homes of their young students to meet their parents and share a cup of tea.
After learning some basic Kiswahili, the students will venture into the town of Naro Moru where they will learn about the local economy and purchase goods from an open air market. Batian’s View is also near Lipela Orphanage, where many an afternoon or weekend is spent playing with the children and helping with daily chores.
Students will also meet with elders who were part of Kenya’s struggle for independence in the 1950s, and hear first hand of what it was like to live under colonial rule. The Kenyan staff at Batian’s View become close friends of the SLIK travelers, helping them practice their Kiswahili and learn more about life in rural Kenya.
The high school students spend much of their time at their respective schools preparing lessons and teaching. There is also, however, plenty of time for the Americans and the Kenyan teachers engage themselves in long conversations about their respective cultures and lifestyles. No topic is left untouched, as the dialogue moves from politics, economics, sports, pop culture, and food. While it is true the American and Kenyan cultures are very different, it is the similarities discovered that are the most surprising.