We are all having an amazing time in Tanzania. The building work is coming
Here is our blog for our time in Kenya;
We both arrived in Nairobi on Friday, July 5th in the morning after long
journeys, feeling fairly tired but excited to begin our adventure in Kenya.
Disaster struck straight away as Noemi’s bag didn’t make it with her, and was
left in Amsterdam, where it went on a journey of its own to Athens. After
meeting with Jessie and Kevin, our local guide, we visited Kevin’s home,
enjoyed a local breakfast, and decided our plans for the remainder of the day.
Our first stop was an orphaned elephant trust in Nairobi, where we watched baby
elephants frolic in the mud. This was followed by a visit to a giraffe
sanctuary, where we could even feed the giraffes! These two stops gave us an
insight to African wildlife, learning more about the animals, their natural
habitats, and what is being done to protect them. Finally, we took a risk and
visited a flip flop factory; old, used flip flops, that have been collected
from the Kenyan Coast, are cleaned, dried, and recycled into creative masterpieces.
We got to see the process of how some of the sculptures, such as giraffes the
size of a human, were made. Feeling tired, we got an early night’s sleep at the
campsite, preparing for an early morning the next day.
Saturday and Sunday was spent out in the bush near Kisii at Kevin’s mum’s
house, about a 7 hour journey through the Rift Valley. We were invited to
Kevin’s uncle’s funeral; this experience gave us a intriguing insight to his
tribe’s culture. The disparate ceremony consisted of about 400 family members
and friends coming to mourn, as well as tp celebrate his life. We were spoiled
rotten all weekend with Kevin’s mum’s cooking, which was delicious. And got
blisters from shaking the hands of Kevin’s 16 siblings, countless cousins, and
Our last two days in Nairobi, Monday and Tuesday, were spent visiting two of
the city’s slums. On Monday we had a tour through Kibera, housing over 1.3
million people, the largest slum in East Africa. The conditions of the slum
were exactly as we imagined, but seeing it for ourselves emphasized the issue
of terrible living conditions and extreme poverty. Nevertheless, we discovered
some inspiring stories and people; we visited The Kings of Kibera, a home for
orphaned boys, where they can sleep, are decently fed, and can go to school.
This is all run by Joseph, an awe-inspiring figure, who puts the welfare of
these boys as his top priority. Surprisingly, there are also three libraries in
the slum. We were allowed to visit one of these; we were pleasantly surprised
by the quality of the library and the peaceful learning environment it provided
for the students. Just before returning to the campsite, we enjoyed a wonderful
lunch at one of Kibera’s restaurants. The following day we visited Shara Moya,
where Kevin grew up in a two bedroom apartment, with seven of his siblings. We
walked through a craft market, filled with stalls of Masaii creations. Despite
trying our best bartering skills, we didn’t have enough money to buy all the
beautiful crafts. We also learned that the chickens are much smarter than those
back at home, because they wander around the slums and return to their homes
whenever they feel hungry.
We traveled to Arusha, Tanzania, Wednesday morning, passing a chaotic
Kenya-Tanzania border, and finally arriving in Arusha 6 hours later, excited to
meet the rest of the team and get started on the project. We had an amazing and
unique time in Kenya, met friendly and inspiring people and soaked in the
wonderful culture. Jessie J, our galiant leader, led the way in true style and
Kevin was a resourceful and entertaining guide.
Lots of love,
Joe and Noemi
P.S. The blog updating our project work in Tanzania will hopefully be sent next