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Karolina Furgal (26) and Poul Reitzel (25), a couple living in Denmark, wanted to experience another way of life in a different country. They decided to travel to Kenya through Projects Abroad to do something worthwhile.
They volunteered at a Care Project, Sure 24, an orphanage and school that caters for thirty orphaned and disadvantaged children. Karolina and Poul’s engineering backgrounds have been of great help. They assisted in the Water Purification Project, Biogas project and also in the design of new playing equipment like the merry-go-round.
Karolina and Poul had the opportunity to help with the daily running of the orphanage as well. They played with the children, assisted with preparing their food, taught the younger children and gave career talks to the older children; where they could share their experiences of how they became engineers. “Many of these children need a mum and dad which is a huge role to fill, but we showed them love, attention and care,” said Karolina and Poul.
Poul explained how being a volunteer has impacted him, “It puts your problems into perspective when you see these children’s lives; they miss a lot in life, but they are happy. It is inspiring to see how they live their lives under these circumstances and makes my everyday problems less depressing.”
Despite the busy schedule of their host mum Rose, she has helped them to not only move around Nakuru, but also to understand the Kenyan culture. “Through Projects Abroad, you have the chance to live with a Kenyan family that can show you around and teach you about the country. The Kenyan people are very open, helpful and welcoming. The food is amazing; most of it is grown naturally with no pesticides and you can find almost everything in the ...
Being in Africa for the first time Peggy and Samantha both childhood friends were not only happy but overwhelmed by the new scenery and language. I got the privilege to pick them up from the airport in the capital city Nairobi. On our 3 hours ride to Nakuru They were very happy to learn some new Swahili words despite them forgetting them after a few minutes I did not mind repeating the lessons.
Next morning I introduced them to their new work place Nakuru Neema as soon as we walked in the gate all the kids were surrounding the two girls each child trying to shake their hands and welcome them. The Swahili lessons were helpful since the first word they heard was jambo the Swahili word for hello. As I left them and since then it has all been smiles and they are happy to be teaching the children. Karibu sana Peggy and Samantha
So I have not been as pro-active with the blogging as I had originally planned! Can't believe I have been living in Kenya for over 5 weeks now, time has gone so quickly. I have experienced so much and really feel like a local in Nakuru now. The 2 weeks that I spent at the conservation project were amazing, so different to anything I've done before. My daily activities involved bird and plant species identification, giraffe tracking, road-building, invasive plant removal, mapping, bio-mass collection and lots of walking! Hard graft in the hot sun was difficult at times but i enjoyed every minute of it. Highlights included the capture of a poacher during the night who was put in prison for 7 years for killing one of our wart-hogs, and having a baby giraffe named after me......so Claire the giraffe will be walking around Kigio Wildlife Conservancy long after I have left Kenya! However i think 2 weeks was enough time for me as it started to feel a bit like i was in the Big Brother house (same people, same 4 walls, no contact with the outside world etc.). So when I arrived in Nakuru town for my next adventure it was a bit of a shock. I went from being in the middle of the bush to living in a busy and noisy town with people around me all the time. I have been staying with a host family in a nice part of the town, which has a good view across the famous Lake Nakuru....in fact on a good day you can actually see herds of buffaloes in the grass. My host parents work in Nairobi during the week so i only see them at weekends. I (along with their 2 young children) am looked after by the house help/nanny during the week who cooks, cleans and even does my washing for me. I have tried to get into family life as much as possible by cooking some Kenyan food and going on trips with the ...
Before I came to Kenya, I had some thoughts about how things were there and how things should be. Now I have been in Kenya for 1 month, and nothing is as I had imagined. Kenya is totally different from Norway. The biggest difference so far is the culture. It takes some time to get used to everything.
I'm so lucky that I get to work at Okoa Mtoto center. Okoa mtoto means "save a child," and its exactly what it does. these children (all boys) are between 8-17 years old.okoa mtoto provides them with 3 meals a day, a safe place to sleep and the oportunity to re-start their education so that they can be re-homed and return to school.
Working with boys who fled from home and lived on the streets for a while can be very challenging at times. It takes a lot of energy and imagination to work with these guys. I also got the honor to teach them English and mathematics, which I think is really fun.The boys at okoa mtoto are incredibly kind, happy, caring and willing to learn. They show the incredible pleasure of having volunteers around , and it's incredibly exciting and rewarding to work with these guys.
The capture exercise starts with Kenya Wildlife Capture team camping at the site a day before the capture exercise. They then drive around the park looking for the right candidate, upon its identification the head doctor Isaac Lekolool, darts the candidate with a seditive drug which leads to a very fast chase of the darted animal, it is tripped with ropes till it falls down.
Blood, far and skin samples are taken for getting the animal’s DNA. Some cold water is then poured on the animal to help in cooling it.
The animal is then lifted with ropes and it is led into a wooden carrier which is pulled by a tractor to a holding pen where it stays for two weeks. This is to help calm down the animal before it is transported to its new home.
Projects Abroad Conservation Volunteers will help gather food and feed the three giraffes for the next two weeks.