Candace Barritt Visits Kenya
Posted January 25, 2012
Saying good-bye to the Canadian winter and arriving in hot, dry Nairobi Kenya. Leaving friends and family was the easy part, what would be hard was spending 18 days with no electronics!
With just a camping back pack, my journey began on December 10th, 2011. I was the Bishop College student going to Kenya, so I was very excited meeting new students from other countries. There were 14 international girls from different Round Square schools around the world like Scotland, Peru, Australia, South Africa, and Canada. There were also 5 international guys from India, Canada, and Australia.
The nineteen of us plus the fifteen Starhe Boys (Round Square school in Nairobi) helped to build a class room for a small local village- Riandira Primary School. The experience of actually building a room was amazing, I’ve never made cement, or used a hammer before.
After a tough ten days of moving stones, mixing and applying cement, I realized how privileged I am to go to a boarding school like BCS. I learned that working hard and going to school will take you far, and that education is key to succeeding in life and work.
I also learned things about my self that made me stronger as a person. I never new I could live in a tent for ten days, not having warm water everyday (for showers), making cement, bending metal wires etc. I’ve learned that I could live with the bare minimum for 18 days, and how much I take the simple things, like a toilet, for granted.
What stuck with me the most was visiting a local person’s home which was thirty minutes away from the school. It stuck with me the most because when we arrived we gave them food and it was the basics (rice, maze flour, tea and more) and the amount we gave the women for her family of five would last 2 weeks! Her house had 3 bedrooms, and her kitchen was outside. She made a living by growing and selling corn, and she had chickens, rabbits, and cows on her land. My group asked her questions and helped her weed her corn field, we also met her children.
The most relaxing part of my trip was staying in a lodge after spending ten days living in a tent. We had a wonderful buffet of food, soft drinks and juices and I got to see lions, elephants, hippos, cheetah, giraffes, zebras and many other animals.
Being chosen to travel away from the BCS community to help other students in a third world country was worth the wait, and being away from my family at Christmas, couldn’t have happened if BCS was not a Round Square school.