Monday, 21 May 2012

Email home: 28/08/2011 (aged 26)

Kenya - week 2


Thanks for the responses to my last update – am sorry I don’t have time to respond to all, but be assured I look forward to logging onto my emails! Where to pick up from last time….??

Last weekend a group of us went to Shimoni, which is on the south coast of Kenya. There's another GVI project going on down there (mainly wildlife and sealife conservation), so we met up with those guys on the Friday night. Saturday we went on a FIVE hour forest walk across the harshest coral and tree-trunk terrain - it was exhausting. We then got the boat over to an island where the majority of residents are Muslim (we had to cover our heads) where we had a Swahili cooking class and stayed there. The next day we went on a boat trip where we saw dolphins and then did some snorkelling before making our way back to Mombasa.

This weekend we've just returned from Gedde, which is up towards Watamu. Up there are the ruins of a 14th century town which have been excavated, but the best part about that trip was the accomodation - we stayed in an eco-lodge and had a huge hut all to ourselves. At night the workers light bonfires while they play the bongos and didgeridoos (and sing). The stars were amazing - the sky is so clear - and there were plenty of shooting ones. I hope to do a safari on my last weekend.

We had a load of new volunteers arrive this weekend who all seem very nice. The guy I was teaching alongside has left now (which is a good thing - he was a right wally) so I'm getting someone new to teach alongside, just not sure who yet.

The kids are still great, and we got to take them on a trip to the airport on Friday which was just amazing for them - most of them have never seen stairs before, let alone a plane taking off. We did Careers Day at school where loads of them said they wanted to be pilots (without really knowing what it meant) so at the airport a First Choice pilot came over and talked to them, which was great. They got to see planes landing and taking off but the highlight of the day BY FAR was seeing 52 kids go down an escalator for the first time in their lives!! They were terrified and were clinging onto the handrail. We attracted quite a crowd of various travelers who thought it was brilliant (although I’m sure the bedraggled state of the kids, and us, was also a factor). They were scared at the time, and I had to drag a load of the older girls down with me but once they were at the bottom the guide asked them if they wanted to go again, and they all screamed yes!

We’ve had some nurses volunteering, so as well as teaching the kids first aid at the schools (as GVI promote them treating each other, for the sense of responsibility), we’ve had some snippets at Debrief too, which has been handy. Went out a couple of times last week for leaving do’s.
Not too much else has happened this week. Loads of the volunteers have had bad stomachs and two had to be put on drips last weekend. I’ve been pretty bad this week, but generally feel absolutely fine. Have made some really good friends who generally live around England so will be good (and strange!) to catch up with them in a different setting when I’m back.
Hope all is well – that weather situation in Manhattan sounds terrible.

Notice the fabulous balancing act on the right?


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