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Children of Kibera, Kenya

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When our patients and their parents heard that we were going to Kenya and would visit a school in Kibera—one of the largest slums in the world—many of them asked if we could take some supplies for the children there. One mother had her children use their allowance to buy books, others brought colored pencils, […]

Gold SATW for Ken Budd

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Congratulations to Ken Budd for his 2014 Gold SATW award for his article,  “Kenya: Holding Elijah.” Ken Budd’s 2013 story on his volunteer experiences in Kenya and recent media criticism of voluntourism won gold on October 16 in the Society of American Travel Writers’ Lowell Thomas awards, which honors the best work in travel writing and media. Gary Arndt of […]

Rediscovering the Mara in Kenya

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The engine shudders and is silent. Outside the vehicle, jewelry adorned limbs jostle for position. A nimble hand slides my window open and forearm displaying almost a dozen colorful, beaded Maasai bracelets is thrust across my lap. ‘Miss! Miss! What is your name?’ ‘Jina langu ni Malee,’ I say. I ask the woman’s name in […]

Working together in Kenya!

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Stepping off the plane in Jomo Kenyatta airport, the moment of truth had arrived. 16,000kms from home, I hoped that the volunteer organization I had chosen, World Corps Kenya, was a credible group. After receiving my visa, I prayed that there would be someone on the other side waiting for me. I really was not […]

The Adventures of a MidWesterner in Rural Kenya

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The Adventures of a MidWesterner in Rural Kenya 6 am, Thika, Kenya. The dim light spreading over the concrete floor of my dusty dorm room slowly melts into quiet wakefulness. The background noise of the river and jungle birds coaxes me awake almost as convincingly as it holds me in the last moments of sleep, […]

Reaching for the sky in Kenya

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Reaching for the sky Caroline unraveled from a tangle of ragamuffin children onto the compound of caked earth and crumbling concrete. She was an explosive meteor shower in her thin psychedelic planet-themed pajamas: zigzagging across the yard, shooting a ragged football and darting through the ‘don’t-mess-with-me’ older boys. She was there, then gone, before reappearing […]

Mara Land, Kenya: A World Away

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A World Away Veronica Thompson Rolling hills and vast plains lay stretched out like fragments on a canvas before me. Our destination was Mara Land in Western Kenya – the heart of the Maasai people and the home to all of the biggest predators in Africa. Uneven dirt tracks and collapsed bridges provided only small […]

Kenya: Serengeti Surprise

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Serengeti Surprise Charles pulled out the biggest kitchen knife from his box of utensils and laid it out on the makeshift table beside him. It glinted in the early morning sunlight. This was all he had to protect himself. A few hours earlier, this place had been crammed with trekkers: little groups huddled over fires, […]

Kenya: My Beautiful African Home

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“Ladies and gents, we are about to start our decent!” shouted the pilot as he turned in his squeaky seat just in front of me. Yes, there were no doors separating the pilot’s cabin from the main cabin of the tiny Blue Sky Airline’s operated Cessna Caravan 208B. Nor were there seatbelts, luggage storage or […]

Kenya: Holding Elijah

Bath time at Calvary Zion is also a great way to beat the Kenyan heat.

I’m carrying two-year-old Elijah, seeking shade to escape the Kenyan sun. My wife Julie and I are volunteering for two weeks at the Calvary Zion children’s home near Mombasa, helping (we hope) the home’s three “mothers,” who care for 40 kids, from infants to teens. “Ah-dahh,” says Elijah. It’s his one word. He repeats it, […]