Did the experience match your expectations?
“It exceeded them. It was a lot more physically and emotionally draining than I had expected. We spent a lot of time in local schools and with residents, visiting them in their homes and truly getting a feel for community life – basic doesn’t come close to describing the conditions these amazing people live in and they are so happy, generous and welcoming. It makes you think twice about the things we moan about, and I think we all came away with a huge sense of perspective.
I hadn’t expected the beauty of the Tsavo national park, and the wildlife that live there. We literally woke up to elephants, zebras, giraffe, buffalo, and even lions one morning, right outside our lodge!”
What was the standout moment of the trip that will stay with you?
“There were so many! But the standout moment was when we did the walk back from the local water pan and experienced what the locals go through daily. We carried two 20 litre jerry cans of water collected from the local watering hole (which is also shared with roaming wildlife), we then walked 5km back to the farm. It was exhausting but also humbling – local women do this daily, travelling as far as 15km a day.”
What did you learn about yourself?
"That I want to give more. Whether it’s money, time, donations, support – I just want to give more to those that need it. Seeing how the people of Tsavo live, and how little they have, is jaw-dropping and makes you realise how even the smallest token can make a difference – balloons, bubbles, a pair of trainers were so appreciated by the local people. I also realised how competitive and determined I am, I sort of knew before, but the various tasks really brought it out – painting a wall, digging a trench, walking back from the water pan – I loved every second!"
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