I had the opportunity this month to travel to Nairobi and Sakwa, Kenya on a mission trip with Mission:Hope, an organization headed by my friend from all the way back in middle school, Natalie West Evans. Natalie is also the wife of the pastor at my church.
I invited Maya Bond-Duarte, a graduating midwife student from the school I was teaching at, to come as well. WHAT.A.TRIP!
We arrived in Nairobi very late in the evening, and were greeted at the airport by Roberta Peterson, our host for this trip. She is an incredible woman from NC that has a heart for Kenya and lives in Sakwa doing amazing work! We showered and hit the sack after 19+ hours of flying. Up early and a hearty breakfast and off on a 6 hour, bumpy ride to Sakwa. On the way we stopped at the Great Rift Valley viewpoint. What views we had!
We had two main objectives on this trip. To provide educational seminars and a clinic to the women of the community and to spend time with the children at the Hope Educational Center, where Roberta is the Matron.
We held our seminar at the church. Words cannot even begin to express the joy at seeing 170+ women sitting in that church listening to health education seminars. We spoke on the importance of care during pregnancy, breastfeeding, family planning and HIV.
Evelyne Osano is an amazing woman. She lives and works in Kisii, Kenya. She is a registered nurse and her husband is a pastor. They have a beautiful little girl named Blessing. Evelyne works full time at a local hospital and then comes home and runs a clinic, financed with her own money. She loves her community THAT much! It was an honor to meet such an amazing woman. She inspires me to do more!
The next day we got to spend time with the kids!!! Oh my, what wonderful kids! We read to them, sang with them, were welcomed by them, made rainbow faith bead bracelets with them and danced with them!
I even kicked a GOAL in a soccer game!!!
We had AMAZING food at our host home in Sakwa!!
This little man stole my heart. On the day we were doing the Women’s Health Seminar he approached shyly and asked if I had a pen he could use for school. In 4th grade they stop using pencils and use pens instead. I gave him the pen I had brought from the States. He goes to the public school in town. As the days went by, he showed me each day that he still had my pen and let me know he was using it in his studies. On the last day we were there, he and other public school children were standing outside the Hope Educational Center watching the children put on a presentation just for us. As I left, he gave me a hug and said, “Thank you my friend, for the pen”. My heart melted! On our journey back to Nairobi I asked Roberta what it takes to sponsor a child to go to school at the Hope Educational Center. $60 pays for a years tuition, uniform, satchel bag and some supplies. YES, THAT IS SIXTY U.S. DOLLARS, A YEAR! A hundred dollars will help sponsor a kid and supply the school. I will sponsor this young man for many years. He will forever hold a place in my heart ❤ If you are interested in more information, you can contact me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are more pics of the kids… lots more.
Tomorrow… the Safari. 😀
This brought tears to my eyes. God bless you, Sandi.
I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It was an awesome experience!
It brought tears and a lump in my throat. I love you more and more each day . And so proud to say you are my daughter.The Lord knew what he was doing when he sent me you. ❤ U
Thank you, Mom xoxoxo ❤ ❤
This was just wonderful and your face radiates joy in each and every picture. so many portions to comment on but the encounter with the little boy who was so grateful for a pen – A PEN – melted my heart, too. Wonderful.
You are a wonderful lady who does many great things and I admire you very much 🙂
Thank you, MJ… it was a wonderful and humbling experience.
So impressed by you, Sandi! It’s wonderful to see women empowering other women! Simply awesome and so inspiring!
🙂 I feel so blessed to be able to experience the things that I do and honored to serve women all over the world. It is definitely my calling!
Sandi, I have just read your blog about your recent experience in Kenya; fabulous! Very inspirational and humbling to see how grateful others less fortunate (or so we might perceive) than ourselves, are for stuff that we just take for granted.
I love that you added “or so we might perceive”… you hit the nail on the head. In my travels I have found that most people are generally happy. In Vanuatu I traveled to remote communities that had no electric or running water (water came from up the mountain via bamboo). They had no cars and they didn’t use currency (in the remote villages), but bartered. They were the happiest people I’ve ever met. We take a lot for granted. I use to think we are truly blessed for being born here, and we are, but we’re not anymore more blessed for our circumstances than anywhere else 🙂