Friday 31 May 2013

Friday - our final day

In summary: first half of the morning at Spurgeons teaching the smallest children ages 3 - 7.
then a bit of craft shopping from some of the ladies associated with Spurgeons Academy who make handicrafts; then a quick walk around Kibera before our final lunch at Kenyanito's home.
drive through Nairobi, including past the State House, and then up to stand on top of Kenya International Convention Centre - 2nd tallest building in Nairobi. supermarket stop, Java Coffee Lounge for one last time then back to Mayfield for dinner, packing and an evening with Kenyanito and Val.

Here are reflections from the team:

Carey’s thoughts of the week: An amazing week, full of differing emotions.  It was amazing to spend time with such beautiful happy children.  It was a privilege to be with them, to share our cultures, to give helpful advice and health education.  Two highlights were spending time with the school social worker, Rose, and helping her with first aid like fainting, pain, illness, etc.  She is an amazing woman with such a kind heart working with the children and their families.  The second highlight was visiting Elvina’s home in the slum with Naomi.  It was deeply moving and thought provoking.  I have loved sharing the experience with my daughter, Naomi, this week; it has brought us closer and will change our perspective on life as a family.

Chris’s thoughts of the week: A wonderful week and very special in every way, with amazing people – our team, all at Spurgeon’s, staff and pupils, and everyone I have met.  Really enjoyed teaching with the different ages; the children were well behaved, responsive, and had excellent reading skills, and were just lovely.  A real privilege to be here; something I thought I would never do.  To see the poverty at first hand in Kibera has been very humbling, but seeing people with ready smiles and so friendly has been very special. Visiting the sewing school with Mary was also great fun.  Special thanks to my teaching partner Naomi!  Helen has looked after us so well and it has been lovely to be here with my two daughters.

Meena’s thoughts of the week: For years I have wanted to come and help children in Africa, and it has finally happened.  It has been an amazing experience in my life.  I has been wonderful spending time with Rose, the social worker, sharing ideas of social work practices in London, doing a home visit in the slum, seeing how people manage with such little space and resources.  Being with the children at the school has been a privilege; they were so well behaved and the whole school staff were very welcoming, at it was great to do the fun morning this morning with bubbles.  It’s been great being with the CRED team, and thank you for giving me this opportunity.

Mary’s thoughts of the week: Scared to begin with, sad to leave.  I have had the honour of working alongside a while group of inspiring women at the sewing school; swapping cultures, laughing together, coming away feeling so privileged, blessed and encouraged.  A beautiful dress – measured, cut and made by Grace, the teacher – is a lovely, physical memory of my time here.  It is humbling and heartbreaking to see how people live and work out here: it hit me hard last time, and it hit me hard this time.  Really challenging lives, all met with enormous courage and huge smiles.  A big thank you to Helen for putting together such a great team, and having me, her ‘little sister’, on a trip with her again: it has been fabulous.

Jake’s thoughts of the week: I was shocked about how different there environment was to ours. It was a great experience to come to Kenya and work in Spurgeons academy also it was very fun to help out in the baby class. I was shocked when we went into the slums and visited one of the houses but it was a great thing to see and you don’t know how bad and small their houses are.

Naomi’s thoughts of the week: It was a pleasure working with the baby class and how well they worked, they all went CRAZY for the bubbles they would shout and jump around just to pop the bubbles which was really fun and how well they played. One of my highlights was teaching and making new friends at the school! I think that the children really enjoyed the lessons especially with the younger classes when we sung ‘If your happy and you know it’ and I am HAPPY!

Gillian’s thoughts of the week: Coming to Kenya and working at Spurgeons has been a truly amazing experience, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to join the team. I have enjoyed working with the teachers and Oscar, headteacher, and have been overwhelmed by their passion and desire to improve the education of the youngsters at the school. I am really pleased that I got the opportunity to help teach a couple of classes – delightful children and so nice to see such happy faces. Walking through Kibera is an experience I will never forget – the squalid conditions but at the same time a real sense of community. Thanks to all the team for being such great friends, and to Helen for organizing the trip and being such a great team leader!

Ally’s thoughts of the week:  I’ve been asked several times if this trip has met my expectations – I don’t think I had any really as I didn’t know what to expect!  I was told by many before I came that this would be a life changing experience and they were right.  It’s very hard to describe how I feel right now, I’ve seen and experienced life as it shouldn’t be, but I do feel blessed to have shared this week with extraordinary people both within our team and Spurgeons Academy.  I am so sad to leave it all behind, I will miss the beautiful children, the simplicity of life and the red dust on my feet but equally can’t wait to see my family.  One thing that strikes me about life in the slums is the way family, faith and education are so highly valued – very inspiring.

Helen’s thoughts of the week: this trip has been very different to other CRED trips I’ve led to Kenya, because the focus has been on training adults rather than carrying out an activity week for the children. But this trip has been equally brilliant, with a great team doing some amazing work, and in so doing blessing a number of staff who normally don’t get the same level of input. It has been a privilege to lead this team and to support them as they have all discovered the joys of Spurgeons Academy alongside the complexities of life here in Kenya, and the impact these new perspectives have on each of us.
Please note that we are all changed in some ways as a result of what we have seen and done, so bear with us as we process the myriad of experiences of the week, but thank you to all family members who have allowed wives / mums / daughters / son  / girl-friend to come on this trip, and may the reunions be sweet for you all.
Blessings to you all J

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