Global Village: Kenya, Africa
The morning our Orange County Habitat for Humanity team arrived to go to work in Nanyuki, Kenya, dancers met us as we entered the site where we would work for the next 5 days. Their joyful songs and big smiles assured us we were in a place where we would have a completely new and delightful experience.
The orientation meeting held the day before in Nairobi prepared us for the work we would do and for interactions with our new friends helping us with the build. In no way did it prepare us for the singing and dancing that greeted us; nor did it prepare us for the delicious authentic food prepared for us each day at lunch, and most of all for the friendly sharing we would experience with the Kenyan team members.
Our team immediately got to work and with the excellent help and advice of the HFH Kenya team, we made phenomenal progress every day. During the course of the build, a small boy named Kenwa came on the site. As a three year-old, he moved comfortably between the men and women working with us. He quickly made friends with every member of our team. Through sign language and English lessons, he began to “talk” with us whenever he was on site. This only added to the joy we were experiencing daily as we made progress on the house. To the amazement of the HFH Kenya team, our team made fantastic progress and completed construction of the exterior and interior walls on the home. James, our Kenyan leader, said that was more than anyone had done previously. We’ve received report from James that the roof and windows are in place and the protective coating on the bricks is complete.
To the person, every member of our team praised the organization and the commitment of everyone. We all agreed this was a life changing experience and we are grateful for the opportunity.