Helen McDonald was a “Flight Crew” member on the 2011 Project Experience Trip. Here is her perspective on the experience:
“I was privileged to attend the Project Experience Trip to Kenya in 2011. My reason for going on this trip was that it was an organized trip to Africa and a chance to go on a safari. This trip made me aware first hand of the very poor conditions in Africa. I had no previous experience of such common things as slums, guarded residences, barbed wire on the tops of walls along the streets, the mayhem of driving where stop signs and traffic lights are non-existent, very basic construction techniques and “stand and deliver” toilets.
I was very pleased to see how Canadian funds, books, clothes and supplies are making such a difference in the lives of the children connected to the schools and how gratefully they are accepted. I was amazed at the church services and was shamed when I compared their faith to that exhibited in my own country.
One of the most memorable parts of our trip was our visit to Solio to visit a classroom partly funded and built by local students in Brockville. We were invited to visit a student’s home where she lived in a 3 room shack with her parents, nine siblings and some chickens.
The days on the Safari were certainly a highlight provoking wonderful memories when I watch nature shows at home.
Our experiences in Nairobi have made me often feel embarrassed by the amount the Western world takes for granted – such as our school systems. We watched the African people working up fields with hoes, often hoping for food in exchange and we often have trouble finding employees to pick our apples.
I make an annual donation to Our Kenyan Kids and attend a few of the special events. I would not go on another Mission Trip simply because I want to visit more countries. However, the trip to Kenya was certainly one of my favourite and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to go.”