Kenya under the Lens: A Meander down Memory Lane

Updated: Oct 20

During March 2019, Collingwood students and teachers visited Kenya on a service trip for the first time. I was lucky enough to go. It was a unique, difficult, but extremely memorable trip. As travel restrictions continue, here is a nostalgic look back at that service trip:


Baby Elephants



1. Baby Elephants.JPG
1. Baby Elephants.JPG

Once we flew into Nairobi, our service site was a several hour drive to the south west of the country. On the way, we stopped at a baby elephant sanctuary. In the wild, these elephants would most likely die because their mothers have either been killed or rejected them. Here, the handlers will feed these elephants until the elephants can survive in the wild on their own. At one point the baby elephants got close enough so that we could briefly touch them.


Water Walk



Water Walk.jpg
Water Walk.jpg

A water walk is part of most service trips. It highlights that for a lot of people around the world not all water appears at the turn of tap. Here, we visited an actual local water site where local people and animals gather. As our guide was explaining how to carry the water jug (jug goes on the back with the rope around the top of the head), I looked to the side and clicked this picture.


At the Job Site



3. At the Job Site.JPG
3. At the Job Site.JPG

The work to build the foundation of a school room involves a lot of earth, rock, and sand moving. We had a few metal pans that would scoop the sand and then we would relay the pan to dump at the site. The sand would be thrown in, and then the pan would be thrown back to be scooped again. Efficient!

Water Break



4. Water Break.JPG
4. Water Break.JPG

During this water break, I climbed to the top of the rock hill and clicked this photo. As we were building the foundation for a new school room, school remained in session for students. Here we are resting while the kids are on their recess. They are keeping their distance as we are drinking our water.

Donkey



5. Donkey.JPG
5. Donkey.JPG

During this trip, animals came to mean many things beyond just a potential food source. For example, donkeys were used for transportation of whatever needed transport – supplies were often draped over their back. As well, people in the area seemed to measure their wealth in how many cows they owned. It is a different way to view the world. Here a donkey is grazing near our work site.

Cooking Support



6. Cooking Support.JPG
6. Cooking Support.JPG

The support crew were incredible. We only had electricity for about 12 hours a day, and this occurred in the evening and at night to light up our camp site. This was also the time we had to recharge our electronics. All food was prepared without electricity. One day I wandered to the kitchen area and asked the cook if he would show me around. Here he is showcasing the oven he used to bake us fresh bread everyday. (Don’t ask what eventually became of those chickens!)

Maasaii Leisure



7. Maasaii Leisure.JPG
7. Maasaii Leisure.JPG

In the evening our guides would teach us about Maasaii culture. Here they are showcasing some Maasaii tools. But more so, I think we all grew fond of the landscape that surrounded us. During the trip we lived in true, rural Kenya.

The Bosses



8. The Bosses.JPG
8. The Bosses.JPG

These three people guided us through the work. This photo was taken on the last day, and they are standing on the completed floor foundation for the future school room that was the basis of our service. We presented bucket hats to the lead helpers to show them our thanks. The foreperson who was there directing us, teaching us, and helping us, was given a Kenya Trip blanket that we brought for the trip.

Safari Time



9. Safari Time.JPG
9. Safari Time.JPG

Towards the end of our trip we got up early to arrive at the Maasai Mara National Reserve at dawn. These two elephants are emerging from the brush to have their breakfast! We were able to see a lot of wild animals from the comfort of our large transport vehicle. This was a magical morning.

Chepkebit



10. Chepkebit.jpg
10. Chepkebit.jpg

I took this photo mostly to remember the name of the school we visited and to make sure we visited the same site for the next Kenya Service trip. As this was our first trip to Kenya, I wanted to make sure we returned to the same site to continue the work to help build Collingwood’s service legacy. The follow up trip was scheduled to depart earlier this year, March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown occurred and the trip was cancelled. I hope it will be soon when Collingwood will be able to return.





Ms. Bosa



Ms. Underwood



Mr. Jacoby

#block-yui_3_17_2_1_1607547737289_149304 .sqs-gallery-block-grid .sqs-gallery-design-grid { margin-right: -8px; } #block-yui_3_17_2_1_1607547737289_149304 .sqs-gallery-block-grid .sqs-gallery-design-grid-slide .margin-wrapper { margin-right: 8px; margin-bottom: 8px; }

Acknowledgements: Ms. Underwood was the lead chaperone for the trip. Ms. Bosa attended and supported the teachers and students as Director of Service. 18 awesome students attended and showed a lot of commitment to the hard work and an open heart to the people, land, and animals around us.

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All