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Kishan Mehta

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Kishan's Trip to Kenya

Kishan's experience in Kenya

My adventure all began at my dining table in London, where I was searching for opportunities to volunteer abroad. I searched Google and found the Agape webpage where they had plenty of different opportunities to volunteer around the world, I found many volunteering companies online, but Agape Volunteers webpage looked the most professional. I chose the Kenya sports opportunity and flew out in June. In my mind, I was constantly thinking, ‘what have I got myself in to?’ Little did I know; I was in for the most motivating, inspirational and eye-opening 4 weeks of my life!

I landed in Kenya and was immediately welcomed and picked up by one of the Agape team members who made me feel right at home, and instantly became a friend. He insured me that all is safe but keep your wits about you. I was curious to see my home for the next 4 weeks, so I was instantly escorted over to the most beautiful place (in my opinion) in Kenya named Maai Mahiu. I was greeted by another Agape team member who I was told that will be looking after me for the remainder of my trip (who has now become one of my closest friends.) I was to work in a school called ‘Southern Cross’ (which is situated just in front of the IDP Camps) and live with the head teacher of the School, in my mind I was thinking ‘UH OH, teachers hate me!’ Well this head-mistress became my Kenyan Mother and she still holds the title.

Day One began and I started work at the school, one of the projects were to build a green house where the school are able to grow fresh vegetables for the children at the school, because at that time, the food that the kids have been eating was; ‘Kideri’ (Various boiled beans) and Porridge. We began the project instantly shopping for timber, nails, and various tools. One of the most exciting times of my trip, I was able to ride on the back of the truck and sit on top of large amounts of wood and ride back to the school...did I feel like a right Kenyan or WHAT!?

I shared many magical moments in Maai Mahiu and would not trade it for anything! I hope to go back soon, and surprise my Vumillia football team, and all the kids and teachers at Southern Cross School; I miss them all very much!

The second part of the experience began after a 9 hour shift of building the greenhouse, where I was introduced to Southern Crosses football team Vumillia. I trained 20 very talented and very fast footballers. Over the 4 weeks training, they improved immaculately, and I was honoured to have won 3 matches and a tournament.

The house I stayed in was a family home, where I was privileged to see how a typical Kenyan family live. I stayed with Mama Mary, Peter (her husband) and their 3 wonderful kids. Though this may not seem all so exciting but one of my best moments that I shared in Kenya was that every other day I was able to walk through beautiful fields with mountain views and collect milk fresh from the cow from their neighbour.

During the working hours from 9am to 5pm of building the green house, we had short breaks, where I would play football and ‘chase’ with the children. The kids were so funny, and constantly want to play all the time. I would have to be dragged away from the children and forced to get back to work! I learnt from the other volunteers that all the kids knew one song (which I don’t know the title of) and if you begin with shouting ‘HEAVINLY FATHER’ all the kids will instantly drop what they are doing and join in! The first time I ever saw this, it was amazing! There were at least 50 children singing this song!

During the 4 weeks, the green house was nearly complete, but unfortunately not finished, though as I have stayed in touched with most of the people in Kenya, I know that the green house is up and running! I shared many magical moments in Maai Mahiu and would not trade it for anything! I hope to go back soon, and surprise my Vumillia football team, and all the kids and teachers at Southern Cross School; I miss them all very much!

Kenya is an amazing place, I advise all volunteers to go on the Safari trip where you can meet all the amazing animals, and it is definitely a bonus to the whole experience. I would like to thank the whole Agape Team for the experience and everything that the team have provided to make the trip even more special than I believed it was, Thank you all!

Kishan ‘KISH-DEH’ Mehta

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