We started our trip in Kenya after a fourteen-hour flight that ended with the team losing ten checked bags of luggage to the depts of the JFK airport. After waiting in Nairobi for our luggage that would never arrive, we all piled into two buses and made our way across the country in what was supposed to be a three-hour drive but ended up being a five-hour drive, all thanks to the amazing traffic here. Though the drive wasn’t so bad as half of the team slept through it while the other half argued which Disney character was hottest. When we finally did get to our destination, a nice retreat called Wendo, we were met with a wonderful welcome of song and dance by the volunteers that work here and an amazing dinner to wrap up our first day in Kenya before we all collapsed in our bed for the night.
The next day was our first day at Muriundu, the school in which we are doing most of our service and volunteer work at, and we were soon meet with many smiling faces of the kids at the school. We ended up having the time of our lives playing with the kids for an hour or two as we taught them new games, from shark and minnows to Simon says which they quickly picked up. After we finally settled down, we had our opening ceremony where Michael and Marley absolutely carried it with their music and Josh was the star with his stunning outfit, and we all pulled the kids into a big dance.
After an amazing opening ceremony, we had a quick lunch before we all got started working on some good old construction projects for the next few hours before we headed back to Wendo. We split into three groups, some of us began working on digging some holes for the trees that were arriving the next day and another group began working on building some desks with the carpenters and the business committee taught their first lesson. After that we headed back and had some dinner.
Today we had some of our team stay behind at Wendo for the morning to help the volunteers here while the rest of the team went to Muriundu for the day. The cultural committee split up and went on the first home visits of the trip. Though it was not uneventful as the first half of the committee was dragged into teaching a lesson on the go to the year one kids as they waited for their translator to arrive. When the translator finally arrived, and they took with them two chickens to the houses that they visited as a thank you gift for allowing them to visit their home. Though there may or may not have been a poop incident thanks to the chickens.
Those who were helping at Wendo meet back up with us at Muriundu in time for lunch, and after lunch we had our first English lessons, and the health committee taught their first lesson as while. As for the construction team they ended up finish building 17 benches which brings us to a total of 25 benches that we have built so far while they began to plant some trees in the holes that we dug yesterday. When we got back to Wendo we started a game of soccer with the volunteers here with the stake of dinner dishes on the line and we won by two points, the score being five to three.
A lot of people got off to a slow start this morning, resulting in many of us being late for breakfast. Today at the school there were lessons from Days for Girls, an organization that helps young girls learn about their anatomy and maturation. They were able to provide the girls with hygiene kits to help them. Boys from the school also received lessons from Days for Girls. Business taught their final lessons to the vocational group and handed out certificates. The tree planting was completed today, in total we were able to plant 70 trees. Construction continued their project and reached 43 total desks built. Our goal is to make 100 desks by the end of the trip, and we should hit that number with a day or two to spare.
We woke up. We had breakfast. Most of us drove to the village, but some people stayed behind at Wendo to put together hygiene kits and play with special needs kids. We started our various projects, and construction made 16 desks today, bring our total to 59 desks. The business committee taught some lessons to some of the Wendo staff. We continued English camp and two of the lessons were the mondo art, which was where they did art for us to take around the world in exchange for their own artwork that was created in other places throughout the world that Youthlinc had visited previously. The health committee taught a big health presentation at the secondary school that was located right next to the primary school. It rained on our way home from the school and lasted for about an hour. Everyone was so exciting that it was raining! Then, we had our annual team meeting that ended quite a bit earlier than any of our previous meetings, yay! And then we all went to bed. Though some of us stayed up just a while longer to have a dance off with some of the Wendo volunteers and both sides absolutely crushed it.
Saturday we woke up, ate breakfast and got to go on a beautiful hike with the Wendo volunteers. We got to have 30 minutes of alone/reflection time on the topic of “Where our health comes from and who we rely our trust on, and what God has given us.” We then finished the hike, which included beautiful plants, pine trees, lush landscapes, and many memorable viewpoints. We then went back to the school and did more construction, home visits, and watering trees. At another point in the day, it was pouring rain and lots of the humanitarians were dancing, jumping on trampolines, running, playing leap frog, and getting completely soaked in the rain. It was definitely a core memory to be having fun with everyone on the team in completely wet clothes and a large rain storm!
Today we woke up and had breakfast at the Wendo once again. We waited for about two hours before we got assigned to groups to attend many local churches. After we all got back from the church services, we all ate lunch at Wendo. We played a big game of volleyball with most the team. We then went over to our in-country coordinators house, and he gave all of us a tour of his estate and farm. We then ate some food and gathered around while eating. We then walked back to the Wendo and played another game of volleyball, and ping pong. We then ate dinner with the volunteers and had our team meeting. And to end the night we got to eat homemade donuts!