Peter Kalenga just led the Hillcrest Preparatory School for a 4 day outdoor adventure at Camp Tsavo and came back smiling ear to ear…and of course had to share his trip with us….
After driving for 6hrs along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway, the Hillcrest Preparatory School bus emerged in the middle of the Tsavo wilderness and drove along the semi arid, thorn bush vegetation composed of acacias and camiphora trees. As usual red clouds were formed as the bus disappeared deeper into Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary. The team looked perpplexed but excited about not knowing what to expect at the next stop after saying goodbye to their usual modern environment. ”That red bumpy road was nice!” One of the kids commented.
The group of 18 students (Age 10&11) and 3 teachers were out for their 4 day school trip to Camp Tsavo. They have hardly had any adventurous trips before and you could tell from their first approach that they were all really excited jumping up and down, screaming and shouting with joy.
That evening the team set off for their bushcraft skills course and a game drive. On our way, I was pleasantly surprised to see how enthusiastic the students were and fascinated by stories about animal behaviour and how the African bush men survived in the bush. It was a real pleasure to watch them fully participate in the footprint and spoor identification with questions flowing like a stream.
We believe Service Learning is crucial for young people to shape principals and create a strong responsible and moral foundation. To the Hillcrest students, it was a really worthy and rewarding trip. The feeling of humanity got in to them after arriving at Sasenyi primary school. They were shocked by the huge number of pupils squeezed in one classroom and the scarcity of learning facilities. They even felt sorrier for the kids who lacked so much compared to themselves and yet they were still happy to be in school. The background of the Sasenyi kids criss-crossed their minds and they started to compare their life back at home which is full of privileges.
This really gave them the moral boost to work tirelessly at classroom plastering and moving rocks ready for a new classroom foundation. That evening they had a great reflection of what they have experienced during the day around the camp fire…
Mt Kasigau hike certainly got everyone’s attention the next day. No one believed these young students would manage to ascend 1640 meters on the daunting paths of Kasigau at that age of 10 and 11. And if you thought they won’t make it then you were wrong. The team left early Friday morning for the hike and by 4pm everyone was back playing football. It took them 3hours up and 2½hrs down!
Congratulations to Hillcrest Prep students for setting a new record of being the first youngest group ever to climb Mt Kasigau! During the hike the team showed determination and accepted the challenge. They held on to one another at their own pace as they slowly maneuvered up the last peak to enjoy great views and celebrate their victory. On their way down the steepest areas turned to a skiing zone “bottoms down”! They all sled using their “bottoms” happily singing songs of motivation. I could not help but feel proud of myself having taken such a young determined group up and down safely.
“The mountain was awesome!” Miss Kartins said.
“Peter, we have now become strong and responsible, we have confidence and proud of ourselves.“said several of the students as they departed across the red soils of Tsavo…