April 10, 2024

Trip to Kenya Recap

Post by 
Katie Prins

n March 12, 2024, we embarked on our 12-day journey to Kenya. After saying goodbye to our families, we boarded the airplane for 24 hours of travel. Despite the long journey, we were grateful for the opportunity to rest on and off during the flights.

Upon our late-night arrival in Nairobi at 11 pm EAT, we were warmly welcomed by Pastor John and Michael, who assisted us with our luggage. Stepping out into the warm night air, we were immediately struck by the stark contrast in temperature and climate from the Midwest of the U.S.

During the first two days, we spent time in the office working on tasks as a team. This period allowed us to bond and get to know each other better. Meeting Pastor John, Michael, Maureen, and Makena in person for the first time was truly special, and having the entire team together in one room was a memorable experience. We engaged in team-building exercises that left us with sore faces from smiling and laughing as we learned more about each other and The Humanity Share as an organization.

On Friday, we visited the Inkuseron community, where we have a clean water and agriculture program. Witnessing the progress in the gardens for the new seasons was inspiring. We then traveled to Olgos, a community our team had not visited before. There, we visited the school and met with community leaders. The highlight of our visit was the warm welcome we received, including a lively assembly by the school children, featuring dancing, poems, and singing, and showcasing the authentic Maasai traditions with gifts of beaded necklaces and shukas.

During our visit to Olgos, Kait and I were honored to receive Maasai names. Mine was Losim. Given the similarity between Kait's name and mine, Katie, the community members thought it would be fitting to give us Maasai names. This gesture was a beautiful exchange that made me feel even more a part of the community and fully welcomed. It became a cherished memory that we reflected on frequently as we encountered members of the Olgos community in other parts of our trip.

Saturday was spent in fellowship with our University and Alumni students, filled with fun, conversations, and laughter. Hearing our students speak about their experiences, hopes, and dreams for the future was inspiring, leaving us proud of their accomplishments and dedication to improving the futures of their communities.

Our visit to Enkasurai was breathtaking, as we traveled through the mountains and bush to arrive at a community with an awe-inspiring view of the surrounding valleys. Walking with students to fetch water from the local river, their only water source, was a humbling experience. We were welcomed by the community with open arms, enjoying dancing, singing, and beautiful beaded necklaces and traditional Maasai shukas. Despite a quick exit due to incoming rain, the day ended with a deep sense of fulfillment and appreciation for the beautiful culture and genuine community of the Maasai people.

The following two days were dedicated to strategy sessions, where we envisioned the next six years of The Humanity Share. These sessions brought together not only The Humanity Share employees but also community members from the villages we work with, allowing us to hear their feedback and insights. The Humanity Share truly operates from the ground up, listening to and involving the communities it serves.

The last three days were a whirlwind of visits to more villages and schools, including Oolomunyi, Orinie, Nalepo Taegong Girls Secondary School, Ibissil, and Enkutoto. These visits provided us with firsthand experience of the communities we work with and the schools our sponsored girls attend. Witnessing the passion these communities have for each other and their commitment to creating a better future for the next generation was truly inspiring.

In conclusion, our trip to Kenya was a life-changing experience. The beauty of the landscape, the warmth of the community members, and the dedication of our team have left an indelible mark on our hearts. We return home with a renewed sense of purpose and a deep appreciation for the people and culture of Kenya.