Thank you Klaire Dale…
“Well I’m home and hating it! Can’t adjust to being back in gloomy England. Was great to see you (albeit briefly,) at Camp Imani and when we popped into the Diani office. Just wanted to say a huge thank you really. Genuinely. It was an incredible month…tough, but incredible. I’m an Ethics teacher – I spend every day trying to get students to think inside a stuffy classroom with damp creeping up the walls and an exam agenda to stick too. Never before in my whole career have I seen my students learning so actively and intensely as I did in Kenya. And not just learning the facts by rote, but processing information, feeling it, and forming their own opinions or modifying their worldview.
I teach Buddhism mostly and drone on and on about ‘enlightenment’ … occasionally in the classroom you get that lightbulb moment when a student suddenly gets something…but in Kenya it happened virtually every day. Someone would feel something, spontaneously, and it would be written all over their faces; sometimes a smile, sometimes a whole face sagging in despair, sometimes tears (real unplanned, unforced, ugly tears,) but everyday there was an enlightenment of some kind. I love my students, I want to shelter them from despair if at all possible, but I learnt that occasionally the curtain has to be lifted and they have to suffer through those bittersweet revelations that life is often terrible…and sometimes the terrible is beautiful and empowering too.
Anyway, I’m waffling. I just wanted to honestly state that what you do is life altering and the Camps teams in Kenya have sincerely changed the lives of 19 South Wirral/Devizes/Oaks Parks students and a small Wiltshire based Ethics teacher. It was a privilege to be out there and to spend time with some truly courageous individuals (Mama Mercy being a prime example,) and if you’re ever in need of a UK teacher then for goodness sake please shout. I would join you out there in a heartbeat.
Please pass on my sincerest thanks to all the Camp managers (Gladys, Mama M and Sammy K especially) and all the project managers and staff that were involved. I’m not the same teacher I was before I left, and I have all of you to thank for that, both professionally and personally.”