Cristina’s Teaching Experience in Kenya

Posted by: Cristina

My name is Cristina, I am from Spain and I’m 27 years old. This February, I had the pleasure of going to the beautiful country of Kenya and enjoying its people. When I arrived at the Kenyan airport and I met Emmah, one of the organization members. This turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. One of the first things that impressed me was the life and culture of the country. It was full of animals, plants, and people The journey between the airport and Gatanga Village was filled with animals, plants and diverse people.

I have joined the Village Kindergarten program and the kids have taught me more things than I could ever teach them. From the first moment I arrived, the word that I have heard the most was Mzungu (white person) and it actually became a word with a lot of meaning. It showed in the kids face the excitement to get to know a foreign person and ask as many questions as possible.

During the first two weeks I joined the 1st, 2nd and 8th graders during their English and mathematics classes. Even with very few materials to use the kids kept their desire and motivation to go to school, the passion to learn something new every day, and the dream to have a better future. This is something admirable, even more when they sometimes do not have a pen or pencil to write, a new notebook for each subject, or sometimes a book to follow along with the lesson. Moreover, the teachers also do a great job managing groups of children sometimes bigger than 50 kids and making use of the materials they have to teach something new everyday.

Outside of the experience in the school, I took everything in Kenya as an opportunity to learn something new, like  joining a Matatu, speaking with the local people, getting blessings from grandmothers, visiting the hospital and its facilities, going to the market, visiting families with needs and listening to their stories of overcoming hardship etc…

Thanks to the members of the organization, I have felt like at home. Without them, this experience would not have been the same, and I would not have participated in as many projects and experiences as I did. The facilities, conditions and environment in the village are really different compared to the big city, and even with this they were able to organize the best two weeks.

Last but not least was the visit to the National Park of Masai Mara.  We got to partake on a Safari trip and got to see the beautiful fauna in Kenya. The trip to arrive to the national park was long, around 8 hours of driving, but there I got the chance to meet the 5 most dangerous animals in the African Savannah and the Maasai tribe.