Well, the time has come! In two days, I will be stepping out of a jet plane onto the real African Plains for quite the adventure. Not only will I be able to check another item off the bucket list (granted I do make it back), I will also get to see my sister, who I haven’t seen for nine weeks. Can you find her among the students?
She has been student teaching life skills at a secondary school in a small village in Kenya called Kabula. Google it – I think the population is under 100. Three of us will be traveling two days to visit her. When we finally get to the village, we will hang out, work, cook, play for three days, then travel to Nairobi to go on safari in the Masai Mara. Her stories along with pictures and phone conversations have had me on the edge of my seat for quite some time, and I can’t wait for it all to officially begin (I could say it began on the day of my shots. OUCH!)
Right now, I am taking a break from packing to update my blog before I leave. I will not have access to internet while I’m there, so this will be the last post for a couple weeks. One task Haley has placed we American travelers with is collecting and packing the donations she could not fit in her bag when she left. Along the way, we have collected others to bring with us as well. I am blessed to have friends and coworkers with the biggest hearts! Their giving nature and attitudes cannot be beat. When I asked for a few shirts - they gave bags full. When I asked for a few pens and pencils - they gave their entire-life-collections. I have already stuffed one large bag with clothes and still have notebooks, pens, pencils and more clothes donations to pack in one other. Hopefully Jeremy and Tyler – my travel mates – will have more room too! Here are some of the items I’m taking!
Pens and pencils. During school, the kids go through a pencil every two days. They do not have text books, so they hand write everything.
Notebooks. These are the empty text books they write themselves.
Clothes. Many families are too poor to buy their own clothing. Majority of families make their own clothes or rely on donations. Look at the clothes below. ISU college FACs students sewed dresses for the kids in the village.
There is a picture of the student seamstress who made it in the front pocket. Such a great idea!
Paperback books are like gold over there.
Haley also asked me to bring marshmallows, pumpkin seeds, pudding, mac and cheese, pancake mix, beef jerky, and cigars. These are unique gifts that cannot be found in Africa.
And now for some of MY essentials!
Toilet paper. Where I am going, no one – except the American volunteers – use toilet paper. This is a necessity for we travelers who don’t feel quite right using our left hands.
Malaria meds. Those mosquitoes can be vicious. Gotta be ready!
The Megan "plane ride" essentials. My coworker, Megan hooked me up with a mosquito net, crossword puzzles, fiber bars, and an electronic fan. (and I cant forget the parachute safari animals!)
The Jane essentials. Jane hooked me up with a travel bag, chapstick and another VERY important item...
Shelia essentials. Shelia hooked me up with pencils, candy and gum. I will only be sharing half a stick though - total Shelia style. Let me not forget, Shelia's daughter, who generously donated her entire pencil donation to these kidos. Thanks Alexandra!
Kwaheri (Goodbye in Swahili) for now friends!