I first came to Kenya in 2009, when I was seventeen. Today, the kids of the school helped me celebrate my twentieth birthday here. When I found out I would be returning to Kenya just a few weeks ago, I was excited to see friends, and the many changes I had heard about – and I was not disappointed. So much has changed in such a short time, it seems like an entirely different place. There are more students, more classrooms, more teachers, and just as much love and hospitality as ever. It is so encouraging and exciting to see the great improvements that have been made, and the promising plans for the future.
The first few days we’ve been here, we’ve been very lucky to have the chance to get to know the kids who board at the school. We’ve taught them some of our games and dances, and they’ve showed us theirs as well, giving us adorable performances and trying, somewhat in vain, to teach us the words. And this evening, I had a wonderful surprise waiting for me: a birthday dinner, complete with both an American and a Kenyan happy birthday song sung by the kids, and plenty of noisemakers and balloons. It was one of the best ways I could think of to spend a birthday, and it was, along with all of the things we have planned for next week, another way we get to have fun with the kids. I’m so grateful to be back here and have this opportunity to get to spend so much time with them, and I’m hoping they will have as much enjoyment, encouragement, and entertainment from our company as we always will from theirs.
– Ariel B.