On our last day in Nairobi, we took some time to be tourists as we visited the Giraffe Sanctuary and Elephant Orphange. The morning was filled with a pure, childlike excitement, as we got to feed and even kiss the giraffes, watch in awe as baby elephants stampeded aroun in the mud, and even catch a glimpse of wild zebras, baboons, and gazelles. It is experiences such as these that truly remind me of how incredible Mother Nature is, and how crucial it is that we work to protect and restore it.
After a long, long car ride from the busy city of Nairobi to the quieter town of Meru, we were anxious and ready to arrive to the Children’s Home. As soon as we pulled into their driveway, we were met with an eruption of cheers and song from dozens of children. I don’t think I’ve ever received such a greeting that instantaneously washed away my drowiness and tired mood. After this greeting, smiles broke out on every face, and the atmosphere of joy and love immediately touched our hearts. Throughout the rest of our night spent eating and introducing ourselves, the feelings of joy and kindness never left the atmosphere.
Our first day waking up in Meru, we got up nice and early to embark on our first run in this new environment. With every new banana tree and motorcyclist we passes, I kept thinking to myself, I cannot believe that I get to run in Kenya. Through the sweat and dust, the run never became any less magical.
After our run, we got to get a feel for our home for the next week. We toured around the gardens, learning the role of each plant, ditch, and pond. It was really cool to see how everything was so well thought out and intentional to maximize the available resources. Then we got a tour of The KACH Home, the rest of the surrounding village, and were introduced to our project for the week – IPI is building another building to accommodate more guests. We will work with them as we build on the work started by the first shoulder-to-shoulder Kenya group started earlier this month.