We have had a great team of 8 gap year volunteers for the first 2 weeks in Tsavo and everyone is loving the experience. Below is their updates…
After months of working hard and saving, we’ve finally arrived! We are currently in our second week at camp Tsavo in Kenya. Once meeting everyone at the airport our journey began.
The chaotic dirt roads allowed us to have time to begin to get to know each other. Within this short time the friendships have grown stronger, it’s unbelievable how comfortable you become with people you’ve know for minimal time and of completely different backgrounds.
Even though the cold showers and drop toilets weren’t inviting at first, the constant smiles of the staff were compensation. The camp staff immediately made you feel at home; Ibrahim embraced us with his positive vibes, Steve and his humorous words of wisdom, as well as Sammy K’s ferocious “Sawa Sawa”. You quickly immerse yourself into the Kenyan lifestyle and grow to love it, especially the food!
For the past two weeks, we all got stuck in construction on the Itinyi Administration block; Over 10 years, the school has been utilizing a classroom as an office for the teachers to do their lesson planning and hold meetings. The challenge has always been the lack of an official way for teachers to employ as an office. We were Glad to be the first group this year to begin the wall building work.
Gap volunteers clearing wall foundation at Itinyi Administration block project
Gap volunteers laying bricks on Itinyi Administering Block
We were likewise involved in making 4 desks for the Sasenyi school. The school needed 18 additional desks to cater for 36 students who were sharing desks with others in a class of 80 students that was filled in last year by the Camps volunteers. We felt so rewarded as we recognized that our desks will be put to a more skillful purpose.
Desk assembling at Sasenyi school
Desk finishing (Varnishing)
We too received an opportunity to assist serving cooked maize mixed with beans for lunch for the local children at the school of Sasenyi. The Head Teacher informed us that the feeding program was introduced 3 years ago, at the school as an emergency bill to avert hunger at the Sasenyi and sincerely it has made a great impact to the children who walk long distance without having had any meals from their homes due to poverty.
Gappers Serving lunch at Sasenyi School
70% of the Tsavo Community rely on livestock products for food and income generation, as part of our community service we helped the families in administering deworming to goats and cows at their home steads. This was a big opportunity to come to know the community more.
Administering livestock De-worming
To end the week in Tsavo we were engrossed in building an elephant deterrent fence to prevent elephants from raiding to the local farms. We also dug trenches to enhance adequate water collection to the waterholes in the Rukinga wildlife sanctuary as part of our wildlife conservation duty.
Trench digging to enhance water flow to the waterholes (Rukinga)
Waterhole maintenance project at Rukinga sanctuary
These projects allowed us to integrate into the local community in a manner which would be restricted if you were a travelling tourist as well as gain practical life skills. We’ve been lucky enough to have packed projects !
Throughout this project work we have felt the spirit of Africa through children’s song, the Masai Mara Tribe, which are memories that have touched the heart.
Masai Dance performing a welcoming dance
We are excited to explore more of Kenya but are sad to leave Tsavo and the staff (especially Geoffrey and his cooking).
We are, happy campers!
Asante! (Thank you)