Kenya Summer 2014 Photos: Day 1-3

It has been exactly one week since we got back from Kenya. We would like to take this opportunity to share all the photos from the trip this week . Starting today we will post photos from the trip in chronological order until Friday.

We would also like to update everyone on our trip fundraiser through Global Giving. So far, through the support of 17 donors we have been able to raise $2,325 of our $3,000 goal. That means we are only short $675.We want to extend our sincere gratitude for everyone who donated to our fundraiser. We are all still determined to reach our goal, to be able to provide funding to support teachers at the schools in Kenya. If you did not get a chance to read why this is important to us, please visit this past post from the trip: Day 8: Half way there…why are we here?

Here is the link to the fundraiser: http://www.globalgiving.org/fundraisers/kenya-summer-2014-team-fundraiser/

Day 1 Photos

Day 2 photos

Day 3 photos

- Kenya Summer  2014 Team

Kenya Summer 2014 Last Post: Thank You!

It’s crazy to look back and think that it was two weeks ago that we left the United States to visit Kenya. This marks the sixth time that I have taken a trip to Kenya on behalf of Hope 4 Africa and my fifth trip with other people. To date there have been 20 trip participants that have traveled to Kenya during our annual trip. Every trip has been different and unique in various ways. I would like to take this opportunity to share my experience and appreciation for the Kenya Summer 2014 trip.

I was honored and humbled to share this experience with six other people: Lauren Morford, Brady Campbell, Chad Curtis, Mallory Arnold, Natasha Sheyko, and Kelly Madsen. This was the first year that the trip participants did not know each other and it couldn’t have turned out any better. They all had different perspectives and during the trip they took time to share them. We had numerous conversations covering different fields, anything from politics, development, and religion to our favorite food, movies, and music. At the beginning of each trip, I usually ask that everyone keep an open mind, since the experience will be far different from anything that they will expect. This year’s team did just that and I am thankful for that.

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I would like to take the time to share my appreciation for the people who made these last two weeks memorable:

First I would like to thank all the parents, guardians, and families of this year’s trip participants. You all believed in our cause and in me for letting me take your loved one’s to Kenya. I know for some of you it was not an easy decision, but nonetheless you believed in me.

I would like to thank all the drivers that provided means of transportation during our time in Kenya. More specifically I would like to thank Mr. Korir who picked us up from the airport, took us to Masaai Mara, and finally back to the airport. We couldn’t have accomplished all the work that we needed to do without your support.

I would like to thank all the administrators and teachers at our six partner schools and our seventh and newest partner school, Marishoni Nursery School. You all welcomed us in ways that we could have never imagined. You were all genuine in your hospitality and for that I say thank you.

I would like to thank each an every student at the schools that we visited during this trip. You are the reason that our organization exists. We love you, we care for you, and want the best for you. Thank you for taking time to interact and spend time with each an every one of us. From the bottom of my heart, I say a big thank you.

I would like to thank all the people at my house who helped host us during our stay in Kenya. You provided us with every single meal and ensured that we received anything that we needed. Thank you so much for that.

I would like to thank all our friends and family in the U.S. for donating to our trip fundraiser. We have raised $1,685 of our $3,000 goal. We are all truly thankful for that support. If you still want to support us you can do so by visiting our trip fundraiser: http://www.globalgiving.org/fundraisers/kenya-summer-2014-team-fundraiser/

Last but not least, I want to say thank you to my family. Thank you dad for traveling with us to Masaai Mara and to the schools. I never got time to spend with you in the past because of our tight schedules, but this year it was great having you every single day. We had a blast and it was a lot of fun. I want to thank my mom for ensuring that we had the best meals every day. I might be biased, but you truly provided the best hospitality that I could have ever asked for my friends. You made every moment memorable. Thank you Mama Moses J I would like to thank my sister, Sarah for spending these two weeks with us. You interacted with my friends and got to learn from them and also share with them about our culture. I believe they can say, they have a new friend in Kenya and that is you. Thank you as well for inviting your boyfriend, Jack to spent the two weeks with us. He did add a lot to our experiences in Kenya. I would like to thank my brother, Caleb for the time that I was able to spend with him. Even though circumstances did not allow for us to spend much time together, seeing you is all that I wanted and for that I say thank you.

At times I ask myself why do we do what we do? Why do we choose to spend countless hours raising awareness and funds for our organization? Why do we take time to visit Kenya each year? The answer to these questions and many others is simple.

We do this because we love it. We do this because we care. We do this because, if not us, who else will? We do this, because we have hope for a better future. We see the beauty and potential of this blessed continent. And if all it will take to unlock its full potential is for us to partner with it, then we will.

For as long as my heart is beating, it will always beat for Africa. No matter the challenges or any obstacles that are there I believe hope will ultimately prevail. The trip might be over, but the journey still continues. I hope you will take this time to consider partnering with us, as we partner with Africa.

Thank you everyone for all your time and support so far. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Asante sana – Moses Bomett

Day 13 & 14: Wrapping Up Kenya

Yesterday was a day of adventure; we traveled all over the city of Nakuru. We went shopping, visited a special needs school and also met up with Shangaman before doing a little more shopping at the local mall.

The day started with shopping at all of the local street vendors, which is quite the experience. There are no suggested prices, no actual prices and English doesn’t always come the easiest, which lends itself to an interesting shopping experience. Luckily for us, we had Jack and Sarah with us who could barter and make sure that we weren’t paying the tourist prices. It was a blast bargaining though, and we were all pretty impressed with our efforts – no one seemed to get ripped off!

After finalizing all of our purchases, we head over to the Pangani Learning Center, whose motto is “We can All Learn”. Even though this currently is not a school we work with, we thought it would be a valuable experience to see a school in town, as well as what a special needs school is like; it was. We all walked away feeling humbled and the excitement of the children spilled over onto us as well. Right before we left, they performed a song for us. At this point, it feels as if we have seen and heard about every song and dance possible, but this was easily one of the most impressive. The students’ excitement and effort were so inspirational.

The school itself was impressive as well; they have gone from about 10 students to over 150 in three years. This is not something to take lightly as most of the students are autistic or have some other form of disability, and the work and effort that the teachers and staff put in are very evident. They are passionate about their work, and clearly enjoy working with the students every day, even when difficulties arise. The Head Teacher has a dream for the school, and with what he has already been able to accomplish, we have little doubts he will succeed.

Shangaman was next on the lineup. After finishing up at Pangani, we headed to his daughter, Shakira’s, school. Unfortunately we were running a bit late and she had already headed home for the day and she is still very young. We were able to record some more footage for the upcoming Shangaman video, as well as get our customized beadwork from him, and let me tell you, they look amazing!! We were all wondering how he could make them so fast, and make them look so good. But that’s why we continue to work with him I guess.

The rest of the trip mostly involves relaxing, which is the reason we are combining our last two days into one post. Last night we sat around playing games, and all of today we have been enjoying the sun, listening/sharing new music with each other, taking solitude in the fact that we can eat as small of meals as we want, and getting some reading in. It isn’t the most exciting of things we have done, but we all agree it will be nice to have some fresh energy before we begin our long trek home tomorrow.

Because of the friendships that have been formed on this trip, along with the feeling of accomplishment from being able to work firsthand with the schools, we are all a little disappointed that the trip is coming to an end. The real world awaits us though, and there are all things we are ready to be home for. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as well travel home, we are all hoping it goes as smoothly as the way here! (Hopefully this doesn’t jinx it).

The last event that is worth sharing, is that this morning, Felix – the student with incredible drawings – stopped by and dropped us off a “profile” or story about his life. This has made everyone who has read it tear up, at the least, including the men. He lost his mother at a very young age and has since bounced from house to house due to a multitude of circumstances. If we shared the story on here, many of you wouldn’t even believe it to be possible at first glance, as it took time for it to sink in for us, even after talking to him. Even with his problems, which include missing many classes due to working, he scored the second highest out of the entire Ogilgei Secondary school; he is a true inspiration to us all, which we will carry with us as we travel back to America. We are all excited to share stories like his, along with the countless others that we have come across during our time here in Kenya. We have all experienced the easiest part of the trip by being here, now the journey really begins when we come back and share all of the stories, to help grow Hope 4 Africa to a whole new level. It is not a small task, and will require lots of effort, but we are all excited for it to begin!

For the last time from Kenya,
The Kenya 2014 Team

 

Day 12: Kirobon & Boror

We had a busy day planned to wrap up the last school visits of the trip! We started off by going to Kirobon Primary School, which is located close to the Bomett’s house. We have previously provided a water catchment system, electricity, trees, and teacher sponsorships at the school; and this year we provided books and sponsored another teacher.

It was really great to see all the previous work that had been done at Kirobon. The trees had grown very tall, we met two of the sponsored teachers, and we saw that the school was building two more classrooms on their own. It was very encouraging to see the school grow!

The students and teachers put on a quick ceremony for us – the fastest and most efficient ceremony yet. We were given a goat to express the school’s appreciation for our efforts! The goat had a sash on it that said “This is for your supper!”.

Next we were on our way to Boror Secondary School for the second time. On the way there Lauren and Natasha were sitting in the back of the car and the driver flew over a makeshift speed bump and they collided heads – concussed they both passed out and missed the rest of the day. Just kidding Deb. They were fine but it was a perfect example of the roads and driving styles of Kenyans.

Once at Boror we were overwhelmed by the amount of food we were forced to eat. Chad had a piece of ugali that could have fed a small village. With lots of parents, administrators, and teachers watching we tried to down our meal – much like man v. food – except no one beat the food.

Once the ceremony began, it began down pouring so we all relocated to a big classroom. Students, teachers, parents expressed their thanks for providing around 20 student sponsorships and two teacher sponsorships. Many of the mothers of the students who we have sponsored in previous years were at the ceremony – it was great to see how much it had impacted their family’s lives! Students at the University of Missouri wrote individual letters to all the students who had been sponsored by Hope 4 Africa, it was a great way to connect students across the world.

At the end of the ceremony we were given yet another goat, two chickens, and shukas. It was a great way to end the school ceremonies!

As always, here is the link to our fundraising page for the trip, we are still trying to reach our goal and it’s not too late! –>  http://www.globalgiving.org/fundraisers/kenya-summer-2014-team-fundraiser/