Upon returning back from an amazing school expedition in Kenya, now seems a great time to look back and reflect- not just on the amazing and worthwhile projects that our great volunteers worked on, but also the fun and games of living as a large group.
Every year the students we take away on expedition work really hard in the lead up to expedition, laying in tubs of baked beans and knocking on doors to fundraise the money to get them out to country for the experience of a lifetime. So when we finally get them out there we are always in awe of how ready they are to continue this hard work. Meeting and more importantly, living alongside local communities is a great way to truly understand the challenges that these people face but to be a part of the solution too.
Being 15-18 years old and many of them preparing or going through A-levels, this acts as a mini gap year and seems the perfect age for them to really take in the experience and use it to its fullest in the future. But put a group of 20 odd teenagers in the middle of Kenya and try telling them that early mornings are the norm and hard work is always the aim of the day- the reaction that we get every time is truly awe inspiring. Making a difference is what we are there for and these guys seem to grasp that as soon as they are faced with the poverty surrounding them. Building, digging (lots of digging!), teaching and integrating into the communities is the daily routine and we all woke with smiles on our faces knowing that today, we are going to make a difference!
So with blisters anew and backs aching, it seem only fair to ensure that laughter and good times are par for the course- and one of the best places for this was on the beautiful coastline of Diani. What an incredible experience to be living on the beach with open top showers to watch the sun rising in the morning and songs around the camp fire in the evening.
Winston Churchill School, Liskeard School, Winsford Academy and Sir John Colfox school all came together to create an expedition team- they are now known as ‘The Kikundi’ which means ‘the pack’ in Swahili. The best part of travelling as a large group is the ability to meet new people and whether you knew the people you are travelling with before or not, there is never any question that you will become like a large family throughout the experience and make real lifelong friendships- unfortunately this also means that there are always tears when saying goodbye. But here’s to a reunion in October- I can’t wait to see you all again and hear how life has changed since you got back!