Senior Jon Elkin is a political science and African-American studies double major. A Newton, Mass. native and a Resident Adviser on campus, Elkin has studied abroad in Nairobi, Kenya and was a past president of Hillel.
What is your most memorable RA story?
My residents (Gates 4) pulled a prank last year on the other hall by lining their hallway with plastic cups filled with water. They were real stealthy about it, and they submitted the pictures to Collegehumor.com. You should check it out.
What made you decide to study abroad in Kenya?
I always knew I wanted to study in Africa. Uganda was my first choice because of its big Jewish population in the eastern side, which fascinated me. But when the program was full, my recruiter recommended Kenya. I really didn’t know a lot, so I was excited to learn about a new culture. My mom actually found a report I wrote in sixth grade about Kenya. In the last line I wrote how great Kenya is and how I hope to go one day – I guess I knew what I was talking about.
What was your favorite moment in Kenya?
We visited the Mathare Slums and went to the Mathare Youth Sports Association. They teach everything through soccer, from community development to HIV/AIDS education to the importance of school. It was inspiring to learn about their organization, and it was eye opening to see a different part of the city.
What would you recommend bringing to Kenya?
Bring a flashlight because sometimes the electricity goes out and the young children in the rural parts of the country love them.
Do you have any last words for the UR?
It’s been a great experience, but I certainly will not miss the library.
Sakamoto is a member of the class of 2009.