Lizzie and Lindsay, two leaders from London North West, led the LaSER trip for 18-26 year olds this summer:
‘Incredible’ ‘Exciting’ ‘Inspiring’ ‘Challenging’ ‘Life changing’
These are some of the words that describe our trip to Kenya. If you ask us you’ll get lots more – the trouble is getting us to stop! We had a brilliant three weeks running activities for 100 children; teaching lessons in a local school, brightening up the new centre with murals, running a Guide meeting, crossing the equator, picking tea, going on safari, kissing a giraffe and remaking our promise at BP’s last home Paxtu.
Our adventures started in 2013 when LaSER set us the exciting challenge of planning our trip from scratch. We jumped at the chance and after much discussion settled on Kenya. We spent two weeks volunteering with the Sanata Trust in Gilgil. The Trust runs the Restart centre, a home for abandoned children. We ran a programme of activities, including sessions on maths, English and friendship along with plenty of games, crafts and songs to brighten the children’s day. We also used our artistic talents to paint some murals at the new centre. Whilst in Gilgil we also met some Kenyan Girl Guides and shared songs and activities about the promise.
There was also time to explore. One weekend we went to Nyeri where Baden Powell spent the last few years of his life. First we visited his grave. The headstone bears a circle with a dot in the centre – the trail sign for “I have gone home”. Then we visited Paxtu, his last home. We all felt grateful for the travels and friendships made through Guiding and took the opportunity to renew our promise.
We rounded off the trip with a safari. Having named ourselves ‘team Twiga’ (swahili for giraffe) we were keen to track a real one down. Our first stop was Lake Nakuru where we saw buffalo, zebras, impala, waterbuck, rhinos, baboons and, at the end of the day, some giraffes! The next stop was the Masai Mara where we saw the famous wildebeest migration and visited a masai village. Our last stop was a sanctuary where we got up close and personal with some giraffes.
This trip provided a first taste of Africa, but we hope not the last. We left with a sense of accomplishment and a desire to return.
You can read more about our adventures here: http://www.laserkenya2014.blogspot.co.uk/