Zuri Watoto Wote

AT LAST, we leave today………

Posted in AIDS Orphans, Nyumbani by Lynn Ouellette on 01/28/2010

So we leave today…….after months of preparation I can hardly believe it!  This is my last post from the U.S. until we return. Needless to say I am very excited, hoping I have attended to every detail here, pretty tired from all the preparations, yet still buzzing with excited energy. There are a few questions that people have very frequently asked so I thought I would try to answer them here.

How long does it take to get to Kenya? We are flying from Boston to London and then London to Nairobi. The combined flying time is about 15 hours going over and 16 hours coming back with a 4 hour layover in London.  Yes, that is a really long time!

Where will we be in Kenya? We will be in Karen, a suburb of Nairobi and the site of the Nyumbani Children’s Home; in  Kitui, a town about 100 miles away from Nairobi and the site of Nyumbani village; and in Kibera, an enormous slum outside of Nairobi and the site of the Lea Toto outreach program If you would like to see what life is like in Kibera, please check out this YouTube video that was done by a volunteer from another program who spent time there and it will give you a sense.

 The Masai Mara Game Preserve in southwest Kenya and Lake Nakuru will be the sites of our last 3 days in Kenya when we go on safari. If you would like to have a sense of what the safari will be like I have a found a good video on YouTube that got me pretty excited:

What will we be doing? The answer to this question is partly sprinkled throughout the blog, but I will recap some here. We are visiting all 3 sites of the Nyumbani Programs. We will do volunteer activities that have been organized for us, tour the medical clinic, go on home visits in the outreach program, mentor the counselor as I described in my previous post, do the art exchange project (I can’t wait to share the art from the Maine kids!)  and organize art donations and ideas for future projects. Tom will do some running relays and other sporting activities particularly with the teenage boys.  We will get more acquainted with the programs so we can learn: how we can raise awareness (and funds) for the program back at home, determine if we can facilitate addressing any of the medical needs, and figure out what comes next for us and our involvement with Nyumbani. And, of course, there is the safari for the last three days which includes a visit to a Masai village.  Since I am also a photographer, the entire experience is an amazing photo opportunity and I will be taking a lot of pictures.

Because of the breadth of what I will be exposed to in Kenya, all of which I only know second-hand now, I imagine that it will be an experience filled with awe, sadness, joy, amazement, heartache, and profoundly intense emotion, some of which I will make an attempt to share.

Baadaye  marafiki!  (See you later my friends!) I will write next from Kenya.

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