Project Kenya

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Project Kenya

Postby thealison » Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:49 pm

Has anyone done the GAP adventures Project Kenya and Safari trip?

I have signed up to do one in June/July of 2011 and was curious about what people's experiences were. Especially with the volunteering part.

Thanks guys. Looking forward to this new adventure. :D
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Re: Project Kenya

Postby kim12doe » Sat May 21, 2011 4:31 pm

Hello,
Are you still going on project Kenya tour in July. I can't decide if I want to do project Kenya or the Zambia community project this July.

Kim
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Re: Project Kenya

Postby nnguyen13 » Sat May 21, 2011 10:06 pm

kim12doe wrote:Hello,
Are you still going on project Kenya tour in July. I can't decide if I want to do project Kenya or the Zambia community project this July.

Kim

I am signed up for the July 11 to 25th departure. Kim - do you have experiences with these trips?
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Re: Project Kenya

Postby kim12doe » Mon May 23, 2011 2:06 pm

No, I have never been. I am looking into going on either the project Kenya trip or the Zambia community work project in July. I CANNOT decide!!!
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Re: Project Kenya

Postby mucka » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:48 am

i participated in this trip in August 2010.

the volunteer part was run by African Impact. they picked me up at hotel boulevard in nairobi and drove me to limuru, approximately 1hr drive - the town where they run various projects.

the AI office and volunteer housing is located on the gated brackenhurst christian campus. there are several chalets that house visiting missionaries. there is a really nice cafe where you can get drinks and food, if you aren't full from the dinner provided by the cooks at your house, and purchase internet access (there is wifi, as well as computer terminals). i was quite surprised by quality the campus and very safe to walk around in the evenings due to on duty security guards patrolling the grounds. the only downside was that i was in a cottage that housed mostly 21 yr olds and younger so they were partying all night and snuck booze into the house (the campus is suppose to be alcohol-free according to the rules contract we signed) but the coordinators turned a blind eye to it.

there are several projects you are able to choose from on the daily basis. a project coordinator will ask you what you are interested in. each day i tried something new, so the projects i helped out was at the LCC and Nest orphanages playing with very affectionate kids, administering HIV tests in a clinic at a hospital, Kawaida Outreach (walking 3hrs along the countryside with a pharmacist who makes house calls - people were incredibly generous by allowing us into their shack homes while they were treated for various ailments. the local children i met during the walk were the highlight for me), and spent one day in a slum helping give vaccinations to babies in a medical clinic and also walked through the slums to met HIV+ women who make/sell beadwork to support themselves.

overall, the experience was very memorable but extremely short. one day, when i am able to dedicate more than a month's time, i would like to return and work with african impact.

the safari part was really great. all the travelling is done by safari vans - hopefully you can handle bumpy drives for several hours at a time. they called it the african massage -- my butt was numb after each drive. if you have motion sickness, i would recommend requesting to sit in the front seat - stay away from the back seats. we had to stop a couple times for two people to throw up during my trip.

camping in samburu is the most rustic of the safari sites - the toilet was a hole-in-the-ground stall (not pleasant in the early morning) but there is running water for cold showers (unfortunately beside the toilet stall). watch out for the baboons. and try to go the bathroom before lights out - you don't want to look for the stall in the dark with wild animals around.

camping in nakuru was a step-up. tents are set up in a motel site (shared shower stalls and toilets) but if you choose, you can upgrade to a motel room with a proper bed and private bathroom which was about 2000 kenyan shillings (approximately $20 CDN).

camping in the mara was luxury camping. each tent is a permanent structure with a bed. i was very surprised how comfortable it was - i would not consider it camping. the bathroom stalls were well maintained and there was hot water for showers (courtesy of the masai guard on duty to kept the fire stoked for the hot water heater)

overall, project kenya was a great experience giving you a taste of what the country has to offer. i was left with such a positive impression of the country because every person i met and spoke with was friendly and very open to conversation. i learnt so much from the children and came to respect them for the hard lives they endured but how positive they were. many spoke of how they were blessed for what they do have. you may think you're going to there to help them, it's really the opposite - i gained so much more from the time i spent with them than they gained from me.

cheers,
monica

p.s. if you have a day to kill in nairobi and want to do something touristy, i would recommend visiting the david sheldrick wildlife trust to see the baby elephants they save and raise until they are old enough to return to the wild. the lady who runs it, daphne sheldrick, is the subject of the movie 'born to be wild'. you need to be there before 11am though for the 1hr visiting hour where you can watch the orphan elephants return from the bush for their moment in the spot light. you can even pet the elephants.. they can be mischievous and spray you with water!

the other place you can check out is the giraffe centre where you can kiss a rare rotheschild giraffe (keeper give you food pellets.. you hold it with your lips and the giraffe licks your face for the pellet :lol: ) the great thing about both places is that a portion of the entrance fees are used to allow local school children the opportunity to visit for free. for almost all the kids, it's their first time seeing these animals in person -- they are just as entertaining as the animals themselves!
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Re: Project Kenya

Postby nnguyen13 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:13 am

Thank you so much for the response on Project Kenya Monica. I just got back a week ago and read what you have wrote & I felt that you have summed it up for me. It was a great experience & definately learnt a lot from being there!
-N

mucka wrote:i participated in this trip in August 2010.

the volunteer part was run by African Impact. they picked me up at hotel boulevard in nairobi and drove me to limuru, approximately 1hr drive - the town where they run various projects.

the AI office and volunteer housing is located on the gated brackenhurst christian campus. there are several chalets that house visiting missionaries. there is a really nice cafe where you can get drinks and food, if you aren't full from the dinner provided by the cooks at your house, and purchase internet access (there is wifi, as well as computer terminals). i was quite surprised by quality the campus and very safe to walk around in the evenings due to on duty security guards patrolling the grounds. the only downside was that i was in a cottage that housed mostly 21 yr olds and younger so they were partying all night and snuck booze into the house (the campus is suppose to be alcohol-free according to the rules contract we signed) but the coordinators turned a blind eye to it.

there are several projects you are able to choose from on the daily basis. a project coordinator will ask you what you are interested in. each day i tried something new, so the projects i helped out was at the LCC and Nest orphanages playing with very affectionate kids, administering HIV tests in a clinic at a hospital, Kawaida Outreach (walking 3hrs along the countryside with a pharmacist who makes house calls - people were incredibly generous by allowing us into their shack homes while they were treated for various ailments. the local children i met during the walk were the highlight for me), and spent one day in a slum helping give vaccinations to babies in a medical clinic and also walked through the slums to met HIV+ women who make/sell beadwork to support themselves.

overall, the experience was very memorable but extremely short. one day, when i am able to dedicate more than a month's time, i would like to return and work with african impact.

the safari part was really great. all the travelling is done by safari vans - hopefully you can handle bumpy drives for several hours at a time. they called it the african massage -- my butt was numb after each drive. if you have motion sickness, i would recommend requesting to sit in the front seat - stay away from the back seats. we had to stop a couple times for two people to throw up during my trip.

camping in samburu is the most rustic of the safari sites - the toilet was a hole-in-the-ground stall (not pleasant in the early morning) but there is running water for cold showers (unfortunately beside the toilet stall). watch out for the baboons. and try to go the bathroom before lights out - you don't want to look for the stall in the dark with wild animals around.

camping in nakuru was a step-up. tents are set up in a motel site (shared shower stalls and toilets) but if you choose, you can upgrade to a motel room with a proper bed and private bathroom which was about 2000 kenyan shillings (approximately $20 CDN).

camping in the mara was luxury camping. each tent is a permanent structure with a bed. i was very surprised how comfortable it was - i would not consider it camping. the bathroom stalls were well maintained and there was hot water for showers (courtesy of the masai guard on duty to kept the fire stoked for the hot water heater)

overall, project kenya was a great experience giving you a taste of what the country has to offer. i was left with such a positive impression of the country because every person i met and spoke with was friendly and very open to conversation. i learnt so much from the children and came to respect them for the hard lives they endured but how positive they were. many spoke of how they were blessed for what they do have. you may think you're going to there to help them, it's really the opposite - i gained so much more from the time i spent with them than they gained from me.

cheers,
monica

p.s. if you have a day to kill in nairobi and want to do something touristy, i would recommend visiting the david sheldrick wildlife trust to see the baby elephants they save and raise until they are old enough to return to the wild. the lady who runs it, daphne sheldrick, is the subject of the movie 'born to be wild'. you need to be there before 11am though for the 1hr visiting hour where you can watch the orphan elephants return from the bush for their moment in the spot light. you can even pet the elephants.. they can be mischievous and spray you with water!

the other place you can check out is the giraffe centre where you can kiss a rare rotheschild giraffe (keeper give you food pellets.. you hold it with your lips and the giraffe licks your face for the pellet :lol: ) the great thing about both places is that a portion of the entrance fees are used to allow local school children the opportunity to visit for free. for almost all the kids, it's their first time seeing these animals in person -- they are just as entertaining as the animals themselves!
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Re: Project Kenya

Postby diamond » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:51 am

Haven't done the trip yet, but I'm looking forward to it! I will probably go ahead and book something very soon. I am really excited about this opportunity, and as soon as I can get myself prepared, I will be going. First of all, I will have some preparation to do. For one, I will need to secure a policy from short term health insurance utah, or possibly another company. I find that it is a great idea to be insured before heading on a trip far away from home such as this one. To me it just seems like the responsible thing to do. Thank you very much for all of this helpful information!
Last edited by diamond on Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Project Kenya

Postby judyb » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:35 pm

have booked for the 5 March tour with husband and daughter, just wondering if anyone has any suggestions of what is a must to take and what not to take as gifts with the volunteering project, thanks for any advice.
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Re: Project Kenya

Postby mucka » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:33 pm

in terms of gifts - not really sure what is a must or must not take.. but for reference, i brought two duffle bags for the few days spent with the kids at "the nest" and "LCC" orphanages.

one bag was filled with used clothing i collected from co-workers in my office.. i had a variety of sizes from babies (for the prison program orphanage) up to teens (for LCC)

the other duffle was filled with school supplies (notebooks, activity books, pens, stickers, crayons etc) and little toys like hot wheels cars, jump ropes, balls - all from the dollar store. because i went in august, when they were on school break, the school supplies came in really handy to pass the day quickly with the kids.

if you plan on volunteering at one of the medical locations (clinic in the slum or hospital) for a day.. you can bring supplies like rubber gloves, bandaids, face shields etc as they are not stocked with these items. i did HIV testing for a day and i was glad i brought my own rubber gloves (from my travel 1st aid kit).. as hospital employees did not have such protection.

hope that helps...
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Re: Project Kenya

Postby judyb » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:48 pm

Thank you so much mucka for the suggestions, will take a small suitcase full of those things, had not thought about the medical supplies, great idea. We know it will be a humbling experience and are so looking forward to it.
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