Hello! My name is Eleanor and I am journal girl for the day. Our day started with an early morning breakfast that would prepare us for our first day of work at Tiriji eco enter. Our goal by the end of the trip is to create a gazebo for IPI to use for gatherings and cooking. This place was the perfect place to create a gazebo because it overlooks the hills of lush green land In Kenya’s cold season. The first task was to weed a long path up to the top of the hill so it would be easier for us to take up the supplies to build. After weeding and finding just a few bugs, it was time to take a snack break. For our snack, we were given hot tea, almost like chai tea, plus the amazing chapati which like are tortillas, but better. After a few hours of work, it was fun to be able to enjoy the cultural foods and drinks that are normally found in Kenya.
During our time off work, it was very fun to talk and grow our relationships even more with people in our group even though it has only been a couple of days. Later that afternoon we were very lucky to have the opportunity to go and play with kids that had autism or cerebral palsy. The director of this foundation, Furaha Centre, doesn’t like to call these kids anything other than the word exceptional, and I totally agree. No matter what was going on, these kids made sure to have a huge smile on their face and laugh at any possible moment. Either it was the longest lasting game of tag, or the never-ending buildings using Jenga blocks, these kids were able to have the time of their lives. Not only did us playing with the kids impact their day, but it impacted me and my life because I was able to see how children take something that can be challenging and use it to become even stronger.
The night ended with a welcoming ceremony from all of the kids of KACH. It was filled with introductions of the children and 3 welcoming dances that they performed. These performances were choreographed to the point of perfection until it was time for us to dance. At this point in time, we had just started building relationships over the last six days and it was now our time to create a dance, on the spot. The only moves we all were able to do were the weird American dances, so that is what we did. We got a few laughs and weird looks, but in the end, we were all just happy to be at KACH and help out in any way we could. Here in Meru these past few days, we have been able to create new friendships and grow as people ourselves. But as much as we are missing home and our families, this experience is one of a lifetime and we don’t want to miss any of the memories and moments that will be created.