"After finding myself with 6 weeks to spare in the summer I decided to go to Africa to do some volunteering. After searching through google and researching a number of charities I decided to go with Agape. I worked directly with Gee to get the trip sorted, with a 10 day turn around from booking to flying out to Kenya.
After landing in Kenya I was picked up from the airport promptly and taken back to the Waithaka volunteer house where I was met by the house mamma Florence, who is amazing! Breakfast and dinner is great, local Kenyan food and the house consists of the basic amenities along with a TV and DVD player. As there is a curfew keeping yourself entertained is a important, we generally played card games, monopoly, drinking games and watching movies.
My first full day consisted of a tour around the local area and a trip to the main shopping mall and local market. You can buy most things locally around the house, such as water, food, DVD's (burned from downloads) and alcohol. On the first day of placement I was taken to Saint Dorcas Children's Home by one of the guys from Agape (Little Bony), where I was introduced to the head teacher and each of the classes. The St. Dorcas Children's Home is relatively small with children from all backgrounds, the age of the children ranged from 4-20 and they were all so excitable and lovely, it made the days fly by! You get lunch provided which is the same as what the kids eat, generally maize, corn and beans. After a day or two you are given a class to teach. I found myself teaching Class Five (10-11 year olds) English, Maths and Science. It was fantastic and it gives you such a great opportunity to bond with the kids and have some fun in the classroom.
During my stay I did a number of excursions; Kibera Outreach Day, Maasai Mara Safari, Hell's Gate, Mount Longonot and then the two excursions included; City Tour and IDP Project.
Kibera is a good opportunity to see just how much of a struggle it can be living within the country and despite the hardship so many people have are so positive and make the best of their situation. A bottle in the street gives the kids something to play with for hours. You get the chance to meet two families who are extremely welcoming and happy to talk you through how they ended up where they are. You will also go to a workshop where they make items out of animal bones, the employees are all from Kibera and helps get them off the street and earning money.
Safari is a great experience, you get to see loads of different animals in their natural environment, we managed to see 6 of the super 7 (Lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino, leopard, hyena and cheetah), missing out only on the rhino. If you do the four day, you will more than likely see the a rhino. The accommodation is great, as is the food and you can stay up late in the group drinking and playing card games or just sit by the bonfire.
Hell's Gate is probably one of the best excursions you can do, it consists of a bike ride, cycling past zebra's, warthogs, gazelle and antelope. This is followed by a hike through a large gorge with a small amount of rock climbing. The views are phenomenal. You then get to relax in a sulphur spring pool before heading off to lunch. After lunch you go on a boat ride around lake Naivasha where you see a lot of hippo's.
Mount Longonot is a hard hike up the dormant volcano, at the top you get some fantastic views both into the crater and the surrounding areas of lowland, forests and lake Naivasha.
Masaai Tribe is not for the faint hearted and you need to have an open mind. You pick up bottled water on the way but that's it, don't expect showers, toilets, a cooking hob etc. this is living the Masaai way with a fantastic hike (around 7 hours), children that are infatuated with you, going out hunting, milking a cow etc. It's definitely worth doing if you can live without modern comforts for a few days!
City tour is a good little tour visiting a crocodile farm, elephant orphanage, giraffe sanctuary and a park with friendly, wild monkeys. During the tour you get to hold a crocodile, get a kiss from giraffe and have monkeys climb over you whilst you hand out some peanuts to them.
IDP is a tour around the project where the charity is helping build homes for the displaced families currently living in tents. They have already built a school, a number of houses, a chicken coup and started on a medical building. It's great to see just where the additional money goes from the money you pay.
The guys in the house - Florence, Izzo, Jo, Joseph, Tabby, Little Bony - are amazing and will always look after you, as well as taking you out on an occasional night out. I would thoroughly recommend going out to Kenya and I'm already planning my trip back for next year to work at the IDP project."
"I would thoroughly recommend going out to Kenya and I'm already planning my trip back for next year to work at the IDP project."
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