Hannah came to Kenya with our big ole study abroad family to do part of her student teaching. Hannah has the heart of servant and at the same time the spirit of a wild horse. My first memory of Hannah is her separation from us on the flight to Istanbul. Since her departure was scheduled 8 weeks sooner than the rest of us, her ticket was booked apart from ours. The first half hour of the flight she was all alone a cabin ahead of us, so when the seat belt light clicked off I went forth to go find her and bring her back to our (soon to be called) family. At that moment I could not have imagined how sad it would be to send her back.
On Hannah’s last day teaching at Mulandi Primary School I was asked to take a few photos of her. They were taking exams all day, so I stopped by to catch the end-of-the-day story. Hannah is an inspiration to watch. Her American accent is hard for her students to understand, so she has adopted her own Kenyan accent to teach her class in. I walked in on her reading a book about a “tigah” not a tiger. She whispered to me after class how she counts down the minutes until she can speak normally again, but she does not switch over until after classes are officially done. Her dedication is something to be admired. After the school day was over, all of the students gathered to see “Teacha Anna” off. All of the students affirmed her gift of teaching and, from watching the students’ reactions, she will be sorely missed.
She will also be (and already is) sorely missed by our study abroad family. I could tell ya stories and stories about how wonderful this gal is. We spend one afternoon in Nairobi’s Toy Market bartering for used clothes. Our adventure began with Hannah’s first matatu ride and continued as we flirted our way into good deals. In Zanzibar we shared a few adventures, but my personal favorite is her beckoning me to her second story window and my failed attempt to climb a palm tree to her. As she starts a new adventure after graduation, I know she’ll do big, bold, amazing things. This summer she’s biking across the States to find a cure to MS; check out her page at http://www.biketheusforms.org/cyclists/detail.asp?cid=286 and give her some support!