Hello all! This is Penelope and it’s my day to be journal girl! Well, on June 29 we arrived in Nairobi after long days of traveling. Our many plane rides consisted of multiple crying children, broken air conditioning, and broken televisions. Even though those things were not as fun, the planes allowed all of the group to get to know each other better. We landed pretty late and arrived at our hostel around 12:30: little did we know this was the wrong hostel (this company has two with the same name in Nairobi) and we had to move all our things the next day. We have been here one full day, and it’s absolutely crazy how well everyone has bonded and how close we have all become. It is so strange to think we just met a few days ago and yet we are already working and acting like a team. The environment here, both physically and culturally, is completely different from home, yet each one of us has a newfound appreciation for the differences. We all miss home but it’s amazing to have people here for you and know that what we will go through will be life changing. Our Kenyan group instructor is Joy, who has taught us many Swahili words: we learned thank you is “Asante” and “Thank you very much” is “Asante sana” and hello is “Habari”. We have had the chance to use these words with many people and it’s been interesting to be able to have a conversation with the Kenyans.
Today we went to the giraffe sanctuary (or “the animals with long necks,” as Jim likes to call them) and we fed and petted giraffes that are being rehabilitated for the wild. In the morning we played many rounds of cards at the guest house which was a great way to get to know each other. Almost everyone on the trip has been fascinated by driving on the “wrong” side of the road; the traffic is crazy and the roads are very different than home.
Tomorrow we will visit an elephant sanctuary where they raise orphaned elephants. Everyone is super excited for that. Then we have our 6 hour drive to Meru ahead but luckily we have some entertainment: Brianna!
Brianna’s job is celebrity which means we can ask her about her life and she must provide us fun. My job is spirit sister; I get to cheer everyone up and make positivity fill the atmosphere. Other jobs include journal girl (which was my job today) who will take notes to eventually post, health girl, in charge of medicine, swiffer, our spiritual cleaner and helper to make sure everything is going well, and queen who rules over all!
Queen today is Zoe and she gets to pick a star of the day at the end and that star means she did something to help the whole group. This trip has exceeded my expectations and I can’t wait to see what the future of Kenya holds. Sending love back home,