This summer, I was lucky enough to go to Kenya where I spent a month in a rural village, Ndhiwa in South West of Kenya, near Lake Victoria. I went with First Aid Africa, a charity which focuses on providing sustainable first aid training to communities in sub-Saharan Africa. I have never had the opportunity to teach before and I soon realised I loved being able to pass on my knowledge in fun and imaginative ways to children, knowing that the content of the lessons was also extremely helpful and important. Before the trip, I didn’t know how I would react and cope to living in a completely new culture for more than a month. However, my nerves were definitely overpowered by excitement.
I went with five other students and fortunately we really clicked as a group, supporting each other throughout the trip as well as always having a good laugh. This made the trip very enjoyable and our teaching also benefited from it as we worked well as a team.
We taught in groups of 3 throughout our time there and gave weekly lessons to 8 different classes. We had fun riding on the back of motorbikes to the schools, although a bit scary at first. The lessons were 2 hours long and were always so fun. It was great seeing the pupils smiling and enjoying themselves. The lessons involved practical sessions outside involving team activities to make it competitive. After our day, we usually crashed out and tucked into fresh mango and pineapple and copious amounts of avocado from the local food market.
We were always greeted by a very warm welcome from the teachers. I was often shocked when I saw the schools for the first time. They had very few facilities and materials, with large class sizes and very few teachers. The children were often extremely energetic and responsive during the lessons. Fortunately, the children’s standard of English was high so they could understand us well.
We stayed in an outhouse in the garden of a family’s house, where we cooked and relaxed in the evenings. We soon became used to pumping water from the well and having bucket showers which were surprisingly refreshing. We visited the local hospital and spoke to a doctor about the health needs of the village. We also spoke to ambulance drivers who had been trained in first aid and arrive at the scene of many RTAs. At the weekends we were able to travel to other places, with highlights being a safari and a boat ride on Lake Victoria. We were looked after by local expedition leaders, Eric and Gordon who we became great friends with. They taught us so much about their culture and it was so nice to be able to share experiences with them.
I’d like to thank Principal’s Go Abroad for helping me fundraise for this incredible experience.