WOW, I don't even know where to start!!!!
I was very privileged to return to Yellow Dot Otterbourne and have parents say that we are assets to Yellow Dot to be able to do something like this. They loved reading the blog, and followed us every day. One parent said the blog brought her to tears and another parent said they took their child to asante romsey and saw pictures of Kenya on the wall and was explaining to the child that that is where Steph had gone to look after and help other children.
I am feeling very lucky to have a loving family, amazing friends, a roof over my head, electricity, water and all the other things we take for granted. Going to Kenya as really made me think about how lucky we are and do we really need too complain so much???
When I 1st stepped of the plane and drove through kisumu, I was shocked at how bad things were and I really hoped that we could make a difference out there!!!
My 1st memory was seeing all the children lined up at the gates of the Life Centre School, ready to welcome us, it was very emotional and just seeing their beaming smiles was enough to melt your heart. It is very clear how much the school means to the children and that they enjoy attending it and have the ability to learn new skills throughout their school day. Seeing their faces when you serve them their lunch (for some of the children it is their only meal) or play simple games with them is priceless, playing a simple game of skipping led to hours of fun and lots of happy children. It was lovely to see the children making the best of their situation by using bike tyres as hula hoops or collecting stones and drawing pictures in the dirt.
We experienced many different sights, sounds, smells, cultures and heat. The hussle and bussle of kisumu led to many laughable sights, seeing 3 piece suites tied to tuc tucs, buses filled with lots and lots of people and motorbikes carrying chickens and bicycles.
It was a great sight to see the delight and gratitude in James and Alice's face when we gave them all the things we had collected throughout Yellow Dot, and then to be able to help them even more by providing material for uniforms and books to assist the children's learning was a great feeling as we knew we would be making a difference.
I met children who's little smiles will stay with me forever and hearing stories from many different people about things that have touched my heart.
The thing that will stay with me is hearing the sound of the children singing, it is the most amazing sound and words can't describe how it makes you feel.
The life centre school is a fabulous place and is a safe haven for these children, this school has come a long way and once the nursery opens up it will see children progress through the school from 0-15 years old, which is a massive achievement and the teachers of the school should be very proud to be part of this. The Life Centre School would not be here if it wasn't for the C4C charity, this is a super charity and everyone involved in it work really hard to provide a better future for the children and their families.
This was an eye opening experience and has certainly made me think about things in a different way.
Looking back at the email I sent to Jane about going to Kenya, I feel it has certainly broadened my knowledge of how the less privileged live and it has given me an insight into different cultures. I have also met many inspiring people who are very passionate about what they do.
I feel very thankful for all we achieved over there and for the huge generosity from the Yellow Dot parents.
This was a life changing experience and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I would like to thank Paul, Shirley, Jude and Kathy, you are all amazing people and have hearts of gold. Also a massive thank you to my fellow Yellowdotters (my roomies) Maryanne and Carolyn, I couldn't have asked for nicer people to share this experience with, You are amazing at what you do and have a very caring nature. I think we did a great job and achieved so much in our time over there.
Lastly I would like to thank Jane for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime and to help make a difference to the children of kisumu.
I have memories that will last a lifetime.
It is very hard to put it all into words, but I think I have done my best.