Jambo! Kenya was an AMAZING experience. We just got back and I cannot wait to go back again! The people, and children there are so happy, full of love and life. It was incredibly inspiring.
First we went to St. Ann’s Orphanage. Here they house 42 kids that came to the orphanage after being abandoned, parents having died from HIV/AIDS, or being abused. WMO2H built St. Ann’s a greenhouse where they grow onions, bananas, bell peppers, spinach, bananas, kale, potatoes and tomatoes. Their school is on site, where have 300 kids attend regularly. On Saturday we got to paint the girls nails, doing both manicures and pedicures! We helped work the greenhouse, and had a couple days of playing with the kids. We were even able to get them out for a night to watch “The Lion King” at our hotel in a conference room. It was a big deal as they hadn’t been off the property in a long time! We also got to hand out plenty of toys and gifts.
We also went to the Maasai Mara and we met Nelson, the founder of I See Maasai. As a young boy, Nelson was punished by his father for losing a goat on his way back to the house after herding them for the day. His “punishment” was to go to school. Nelson walked as a little boy, 10 miles each way to school, in conditions where wild animals freely roam. Up until only eight years ago, in the Maasai culture, you weren’t considered a “MAN” unless you killed an adult male lion with your bare hands. Now they are considered a man when they get an education and get married.
Nelson introduced us to Maggie his wife, who is working with each tribe in the Maasai area to end FGM – Female genital mutilation. It’s illegal in Kenya, yet still widely practiced in many tribes in Africa, including Maasai. He really liked school, and learned that education is power.
WMO2H is installing a water system for the Maasai to provide clean water and sanitation systems to over 1000 people. The river they currently get water from is shared by all farm animals, wild animals, and is also used as a restroom for people and animals.
At the I See Maasai project we taught in the classrooms! I got to teach the first grade class. We worked on English, Math, Social Studies, Geography and P.E. Those kids were so sweet! They will just clutch onto you and never let go! They all participated in every lesson, and we had tons of time to run around with them and play lots of soccer!
The trip was unforgettable. It was extremely well organized, well led, and soooooooooo much FUN! I made 6 new friends with the other volunteers on the trip, and those kids have left a permanent impression on my heart.