Our Kenya volunteers have had an exciting start to their African adventure. We’ve been catching up with them about what they’ve been up to since arriving in Camp Tsavo – check out their blog below.
On arrival at the airport we were introduced to a Camps International team member who led us to the others who had already arrived. We gave our own introductions at the airport and got to know each other whilst waiting for a few more team members to arrive. It was interesting to see where each of the group came from and hear a variety of accents alongside the Swahili that we could hear. Around 11 we left Mombasa and headed to our first camp – Camp Tsavo. The journey was long but interesting due to the views that we could see.
After arriving at camp around 3ish we were greeted by the leaders and we enjoyed a ‘family’ lunch, before having a look around the camp and settling into our rooms. We then had the afternoon to relax and get to know each other a little better before dinner and getting an early night.
Saturday morning, we had breakfast before collecting our tools and began our way to ‘Mama’s house’ where we assisted in laying the concrete for a house that our brilliant Camp host Ibrahim had built. We then took a well-deserved rest and recoup day at a beautiful pool bar in our local town of Voi.
We then spent 5 days at Sasenyi Primary School in Taita Taveta county where we built from scratch 10 wooden desks which were chopped, sanded and varnished by hand. During our time there we were also able to interact with the children of the school. Some of our team played football with the young children before continuing with our project.
On Friday we had a break from the primary school to get involved in some livestock deworming. We were able to chase and deworm a variety of goats/cows, which produced us with a morning full of laughter. We worked as a team, some of us physically chased the baby goats whilst others used paint to mark their bodies in order to tell which had been dewormed already.
Saturday we were led on a 3 hour trek up the mountains towards the Kenyan caves, it was tough but great fun and proved to a lot of us that we were more physically fit than we thought. We were able to enjoy lunch inside one of the caves before beginning our bush-craft activities, including catching prey, making a fire from scratch and building a shelter. After the activities we made our way back down towards camp to freshen up and relax for the evening.
Sunday was our rest day and we were able to enjoy a visit to a local hotel, with a swimming pool and wifi. Later in the afternoon we made our way to the Maasai market where we learnt a lot about the culture and were able to purchase a few items.
Monday morning saw us back at the primary school to complete our desk project. We were faced with a fair amount of rain which meant we had to wait until the desks were fully dry before applying the first coat of varnish. Once lunch was over we were able to begin varnishing each desk, and hand out our gifts to the school. The gifts consisted of pencils, pens, sharpeners and paper. All of the students and head teacher were most grateful, which was lovely to see.
On our penultimate day, we enjoyed the morning and afternoon at the Rukinga sanctuary. We had the task of collecting data to establish the movement of animals within the park. Within half an hour of having been in the truck, we saw a herd of giraffes. For most of us on board it was the first time any of us had seen African wildlife. We saw a herd of buffalo, some monkeys, gazelles, a few different types of antelope and an endangered type of zebra. We took a break next to a watering hole and enjoyed some lunch, while two of the camp instructors described the migration of animals during the dry and rainy seasons. We drove for a number of hours amongst the Savannah grasslands and we noted down each of the species we came across. We finished the safari at around 3pm and then in the late afternoon began packing our bags. We spent our last evening together at Camp Tsavo with the group leaders. Camp Tsavo was amazing. We will miss all of the staff, and thank them for having us and also for giving us the opportunity to see the real Africa.
Blog written by Kenya gap team June 2017
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