Ever sit back in your lazy-boy chair and reminisce about days gone by? Smile as you recall memories from years ago, or even just a trip to the Caribbean last winter? I know I do – ALL the time! I love looking at the pictures of carefree days, sailing on a catamaran or kayaking on the clearest of clear blue/green waters, watching the fish beneath me. The memories we make today will be what we tell our grandchildren about 20 years from now. Though, I have to be honest; telling my grandchildren that I took a weeks’ vacation to sit on my butt, sip beverages and gallivanting around some island isn’t going to be the highlight of the memories I will be able to share. My highlight will be sharing my memories of Kenya and all the children that I helped to build a better life.
That feeling; that unimaginable feeling of pride, of having given of my time, to help another human, is a feeling that no vacation memory in the world can even come close to touching. To be able to say that I took two weeks’ vacation time to travel to Kenya with Our Kenyan Kids, to visit the people – the children, the grandmothers, the teachers, the volunteers; that’s the memories that I am most proud of.
When I took my first trip over in January of 2013, I had no idea that I would be as touched as I was. At the time, it was a simple placement for a photojournalism course I was taking in college. The opportunity quite literally fell into my lap. I had no “skills” to contribute to what I then considered a “mission trip” but none the less, it seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime, and I was not about to let it pass through my fingers. As a photojournalism student, my job was to take photos and write blogs to keep those at home informed on what was going on and all that the group was doing. What actually happened was life changing.
From our very first stop, I was completely immersed in the Kenyan lifestyle. I wanted to know everything there was to know and see as much as I could possibly see. I took over 4000 pictures and wrote almost a novels worth of blogs, trying my best to bring the story of what was unfolding before my eyes to life for those still at home, relying on my posts to live the story for themselves. For some, it worked. According to Our Kenya Kids and their Starfish philosophy, I really only needed to reach one. I’m happy to say I achieved that. I was able to show the supporters of Our Kenyan Kids a first-hand view of what was happening in each of the projects that they so faithfully support. Not only did I keep everyone in Canada abreast of our activities during our journey, but it ended up being the beginning of my actively participating not only in the yearly trip over to Kenya, but in the opportunity of producing the ongoing newsletters for our dedicated supporters.
Six years later and I am now just beginning the process of planning my 7th trip to Kenya, the end of January 2020. I would love to take of team of 10! (I like to dream big) Realistically, the team usually consists of 4 – 6 people, but everyone is welcome. It’s not a vacation. It’s not a tropical destination. It is however, a trip you will never forget; and opportunity to give of yourself and your time; a chance to offer hope to someone who perhaps couldn’t see any yesterday.
Consider joining us in January of 2020. An information session will be coming up soon. Follow us at www.ourkenyankids.com or on our FB page at: https://www.facebook.com/ourkenyankids/?ref=settings