My first trip! I decided to join this team when I was struggling to figure out what to do for my birthday. Throw a big party for myself? Spend a quiet evening with my family and close friends? Such were my first world problems… I went back and forth a thousand times. I was itching to go somewhere, and a fantastic safari in 2011 with my dad left me wanting to see more of Africa – from a more “local” view. But traveling alone over my birthday didn’t quite feel right…
Almost on a whim, I googled “volunteer” and “Kenya” and found the Habitat for Humanity Global Village program. What? I thought HFH was a US-focused organization? I couldn’t have been more wrong. It turns out, they work in over 40 countries around the globe. And the paradigm – 1 to 2 week volunteer experiences in local communities helping families in need – was just perfect for what I was looking for at that time. I contacted several team leaders to inquire about availability on their teams and hooked up with a woman whose life experiences eerily mirrored my own. How could I not join?? I paid my deposit and bought a ticket before I had time to change my mind. I’m so glad that I did!
This first trip was an eye opening experience. There are many stories that are worthy of their own blog posts – my terror upon arrival at having made a mistake in chosing to spend my birthday in Africa far from my family, meeting my “twin brother”, working with the shoeless-gloveless-shirtless stone mason named Collins, becoming friends with people who have never seen a white person in “real life”… These stories and more will come in time because they are ingrained in my soul and always make me smile. They deserve to be shared. 🙂
For now, a few photos of this wonderful community and my teammates a/k/a lifelong friends!