Our 2018 Sports Development Expedition team have just arrived home after a fantastic 4 weeks coaching sport in rural Kenya. Have a read of their blog to find out more about this incredible trip through the eyes of the volunteers themselves.
SDX 2018 at Camp Tsavo has been one of the most insightful and inspirational experiences. From the moment we arrived, Camps International did their absolute best to ensure we felt welcome in both Kenya and in camp which aided us into feeling at home.
For the month that we were here, our main aim was to prepare the different pitches and coach the students at both Itinyi and Marungu Primary School with the aim of competing against each other in a tournament. The pitch preparation occupied the first two weeks.
Although this was hard work, it was made worth it by seeing the satisfaction from the schools during the following two weeks of coaching Football, Netball and Volleyball. This was all ended by a tournament at Marungu school, where they had a home win in all 3 sports. The day was one of our favourites as it was amazing to see how the four weeks of preparation brought everyone together in terms of both success and relationships with both students and teachers.
Other activities Camps International had organised over the course of the month was a Safari Game Day, Marungu Hill Trek, visit to the Massai Tribe and bead bracelet/elephant dung paper making with the Itinyi Women’s Group.
These projects allowed us to see the different beauties Kenya had to offer, especially in terms of the animals habituated here. On the Safari, we were extremely lucky to see 3 animals out of the big 5: Elephants, Lions and Buffalos, as well as Giraffes, Zebras, Antelopes, Hippos, Crocodiles and many more.
The day with the Itinyi Women’s Group really allowed us to see the hard work the women endure in order to keep themselves occupied and earn money to help support their family. Making the bracelets and elephant paper ourselves really proved how much of a hard job it is. Mama Mercy was the leader of the group and she gave an inspirational speech about the struggles of this country and what she has done to improve Tsavo especially – truly and inspiration to all.
However, the biggest highlight of this trip has been the children. The happiness they exhilarate towards us, their constant willingness to engage with us and help us with the preparations, really impacted us all in an emotional way.
It was hard to say goodbye to them not just because of their individual personalities but because of the memories they’ve given us. It’s incredible to see how happy they can be with very limited resources but a lesson they taught us was that life is not defined by what you have. They showed us how being constantly being welcoming and treating every person like they’re your family can really make an emotive difference.
Overall, there are not enough words to thank Camps International for the experience and adventure they’ve given us as many have learned a lot and are extremely grateful for everything. We hope Camp Tsavo continue to do well and keep making an amazing change in the community. All our experiences from the Masai tribe to coaching the children on the pitches that we had prepared, created an experience of a lifetime and memories we shall cherish forever.
Written by the Kenya SDX 2018 team
We’re now taking applications for our SDX 2019 team. If you have a passion for sport and would love to get involved in this amazing and rewarding trip next summer, click here to apply online today.