I can’t even begin this blog without giving HUGE credit to Landry and my parents for providing unconditional love and support for this venture. I left behind my chunky monkey adorable four and a half month old son to support and guide La Salle students in their efforts to serve here in Kenya. It’s an incredible opportunity and one that I can’t imagine turning down. While I cried halfway to JFK and certainly miss my whole family, I can’t help but feel blessed that even though I became a mom this year they still support me being able to be me and to live out my own dreams without making me feel like it’s an either/or situation. I am a mother now, but that’s just one part of who I am and I’m incredibly, incredibly lucky to be surrounded by people who love and support me as a whole.
We have arrived in Nairobi! For those of you who followed my La Salle service trip blog last year it was a whirlwind week with 36 students on buses in Harlan, Kentucky. This year there are only 11 students and we’ll be in Kenya for three weeks. We just arrived at the Christian Brothers’ residence in Nairobi. It’s 11pm and we’ve been traveling now for 26 hours. We drove from La Salle to JFK, flew to Amsterdam and then connected to Nairobi. Despite the long trip, everyone is in good spirits and looking forward to our trek to Nyeri tomorrow.
|Very tired girl on second leg of flight|
|Largest plane I've ever flown on. Two stories and couldn't fit it all into one screen for a picture!|
|Our chariot awaits|
|Wiring for the hot water at our first stop, the Brother's residence in Nairobi. Something tells me this probably wouldn't pass for code back home...|
Most of our time here will be spent at St. Mary’s Secondary School in Nyeri, which is west of Nairobi about three hours driving. The students help with school activities, life skills for the younger children, attend home visits, and provide other services to the school as needed. I think we’ll also be visiting some institutions, like hospitals and universities, to see what the structure is like here.
I am eager to meet the students. Many come to the school from the streets and graduate ranking among the highest in the country. They go on to college at much higher rates than average for the country and sound like amazing, determined young men. I am also eager to see Kenyan culture and environment. All of my travels in Africa have been to West African, French speaking nations, so it will be hopefully an interesting and insightful experience in East Africa.