Written on: 02/08/2012
I originally applied for the 'Baby and Infant Care in Nairobi' but instead changed at arrival and volunteered at an orphanage for kids aged 2 - 12. The orphanage was amazing, and i was so happy i changed as you can interact with the children so much better when they are slightly older. I had the best 2 weeks of my life there, it was simply fantastic. At the orphanage, i spent half the time teaching (very basic stuff, and was absolutely no problem despite no previous teaching experience), and the other half simply playing with the children. They loved the attention, and it was amazing to see how happy they were despite some of their backgrounds. I really got attached with the children, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute there.
The host family i stayed with were perfect too! The house was nice and had everything you needed and more. They were so welcoming, and were some of the nicest people i have ever met! It was especially good that they had 2 children (both 23) as i could spend a lot of time with them, go out to town with them and call them if i ever had any issues. The family and home stay went beyond our expectations, as well as giving us a taste of Kenyan life. We were also very well fed, and couldn't have asked for a better, or safer place to stay.
Frontier were also great, and very organised. Although we were warned of the concept of 'African time' and sometimes a lack of organisation, we had the complete opposite. Our rep 'Joel' was fantastic. He made us feel much more comfortable and organised, and would always pick us up on time and there was no problem with organizing anything. We were picked up from the airport no problem, he would keep in regular contact as well as arranging trips for us including a safari, hand feeding giraffes, visiting an elephant orphanage and going to a massai market.
We worked 5 days a week at the orphanage (called 'Watoto Wema') and had the weekends off. The weekends were a great opportunity to either relax after your tiring week, or visit some more of Kenya. On our last weekend, our rep organised us to visit the Massai Mara on a safari for 3 days (2 nights). It cost around $500 but i couldn't recommend it more! We went during the wildebeest migration which was surreal, as well as also seeing 4 of the big 5. This topped off an incredible 2 weeks, and i would urge anyone to volunteer.
Overall, meeting the children and the orphanage was so rewarding, and i really felt like i made a difference. The host family were perfect, as well as Kenya being a wonderful country to visit. I definitely want to go back and see the children again.
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