Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Corrine's vision of education in the Deep Sea Slum...

My friend Corrine went with me to Africa. She is a pediatric speech-language pathologist with a special love for children and animals. This trip to Kenya and particularly to the Deep Sea Slum has changed her life and thus will change the lives of the many pre-school children of the slum.

Corrine met Pastor John and together they shared their vision for a pre-school in the Deep Sea Slum.

Corrine says..."My visit to Kenya was life changing on many levels. I am grateful for the amazing people who have come into my life as well as the overwhelming support that is bringing my vision to fruition."

Please visit her new blog and read about her journey...... " Landing in Africa "

This is Corrine. I had known her to be at times, a bit ethereal......until I was with her in Africa.
There she became completely grounded. She glowed and radiated joy. Her feet were clearly where they were suppose to be. Corrine had landed in Africa and I had the privilege of seeing someone meet their destiny.

Can you lend a helping hand to these children?

Our last day in Africa....

On our last day, which was Sunday, we went to Pastor John's church service in the Deep Sea Slum.

As before, the children gathered to greet us.

We walked down the alley....

and were greeted by song.......

Song and dancing and exuberance in Pastor John's church!

The energy was wonderful !

Oblivious to the service, these little ones found piece of chalk and began to draw...

Time to fly home....5 hours from Nairobi to Dubai...then 16-1/2 hours from Dubai over the pole to land again in San Francisco. On the way over, the first 10 hours were okay, but the last hours were really hard for me. On the way back, the flight was surprisingly easy and fast.
When we first arrived at the Nairobi airport, at the beginning of the trip, the airport felt small and close and very foreign to me. When we departed from the very same airport, the airport looked spacious and familiar. I seemed to be looking through different eyes than I had when I first arrived.
By saying "Yes" to Africa, was I changed as everyone said I would be? Well, I can definitely can say that I feel expanded. This trip has gifted me with a deeper understanding and experience of the word gratitude. The sentence "I am very very happy" means so much to me now and brings with it memories of beautiful happy faces and meaningful experiences. I look forward to my return and I definitely will travel with Rebecca and Valerie again. The idea of a Purposeful Tour is exactly the way I wish to see the world.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Elephants and Giraffes...Oh My!

Along with visiting the children's orphanages in Kenya and Tanzania, we got the chance to visit an elephant orphanage. These little ones are brought to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Center to be cared for when they are discovered alone in the preserves.

About every 3 hours, the young elephants are brought to a large mud hole...

There they roll, and jump....slide and scoot.....

Wallow and frolick.....and try to sit on each other. It is pure joy in action!
Wild abandon!

In the end, they are covered in the red mud and very very happy!

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Center has a program where you can foster a baby elephant for only
$50. a year and thus make a huge contribution to the care of these little orphan elephants.
One actually gets quite a bit of information and updates on the particular elephant that you choose to foster.

We also got to visit the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife.

In 1974, Betty Leslie-Melville began the first successful project of raising the number of endangered Rothschild giraffes from 130 to over 300. AFEW's second project was to establish the first educational nature sanctuary in independent Africa. Last year AFEW brought over 40,000 African school children to the center free of charge to teach them how to conserve their animal heritage. Children now overflow the center, so more classroom space is needed.
Her home, The Giraffe Manor, is now a fantastic hotel, with giraffe's heads peeping through the windows

What a kiss! With a big blue tongue!
Tomorrow we make our last visit to The Deep Sea Slum.