Day 1 Volunteer Blog Ellie & Ben March 2016

//Day 1 Volunteer Blog Ellie & Ben March 2016

Early start of 7.30 after 24 hours of travelling from leaving Swindon at 9am local time on Saturday morning and arriving in Nakuru at 1pm local time on Sunday afternoon.

Breakfast was served as sausage sandwiches which was a delight to most people…

The bus arrived at 9am to take us to Melon our first day at the school, we were excited, nervous, overwhelmed, a complete mixture of emotions. Covered in sunscreen and DEET, sweat and carrying litres of water we made our way through Nakuru town and the slums. Well what can I say…. The people were happy. Smiling, full of life, working together on their markets stalls selling everything from shoes to bananas and coal to bicycle parts. A local butchers stood empty from people but with a single carcus hanging in the window. The streets were dusty, the roads were bumpy with not a drop of water or moisture insight. Although so early the temperature was around 20 degrees.

We approach the gates of melon mission, children standing barefoot outside almost begging to get into the school.. The local security opens the gate as we drive through, the playing area is full of dirt, dull looking concrete buildings line the inside, a church, some toilets and a few classrooms are all that’s insight.

Being a bank holiday many of the children were not at school however approximately 100 children in their torn clothes, single shoes and dirty appearance lurked in the class rooms. A nervous start for both us the volunteers and the children as none of us knew what to expect although we had been before. After a beautiful welcome from the director James, the children performed welcome songs and dances to us as their guests.

In groups they entered the class room starting from the youngest, singing, dancing, jumping around, smiling, holding hands. The most beautiful personalities shone through as they welcomed us to their school.

Poems read by the older children, it was  hard to hold back the tears.

The volunteer teachers as well as the qualified staff did a welcome speech again to make us feel welcome and all of them practically says “make yourself at home”.

I (Ben) went to the kitchen to help the cooks dish out porridge. A pale watery substance in a huge green barrel stood to await the eager children for morning snack. One by one the come up with different size cups, massive hearts and great smiles to get something to eat / drink. After all the children had come up and as most the children were not st school seconds or even third helpings were greatly received by the kids.

I (Ellie) went into class 2, only a few children sat to greet me. As I entered the room the children approaches me and immediately began to tickle me in the corner of the room, the burst into laughter finding it hilarious however this was horrific for me as I hate being tickled. After settling down the excited kids, we began to sing Kenyan songs. We went outside and played one of the Kenyan favourite games ‘Balance the ball’ and of course we as volunteered where chosen to go in to the middle and balance the ball for the kids to copy. They found it hilarious however street Cred Dosent carry any weight over here.

Lunch was served; meat balls, seasoned potatoes and  of course cabbage, it was the best meal yet however the feeling of guilt of sitting and eating a proper meal, drinking fresh water whilst they had their watery porridge and a few beans was almost unbearable however you cannot let this affect you as we need to eat too.

The afternoon consisted of team building and interaction with the local teachers which found us playing a game of 2 truths a lie however most Kenyan teachers decided to play by their own rules.

3pm meant it was time to leave melon after a fruitful yet mind blowing experience that words cannot truly describe. Kids where waving as we left and it was impossible to imagine the school with just under 500 pupils tomorrow.

We returned to our accommodation for a much needed shower after a day in 35 degrees heat. A few hours rest and dinner was served. Lentils, rice and of course cabbage was very munched welcomed by all. An evening of team building games between us was a perfect end to an outstanding day.

From around 9pm the more competing among us decided to play cards, this went on until around 1am untill it was defiantly time to hit the sack.

Bring on the rest of the trip.