"...Many dream of volunteering abroad – when the economy tanked
I said, if I lose my job then I would go to Africa and that
is just what I did in April 2009. I needed to leave the
depression we wake up to every day and go away to find
fortitude. I volunteered in Ongata Rongai, a slum town
outside of Nairobi, Kenya for three weeks. I stayed with a
host family and helped in the children’s center & school
during the week. I taught in the classrooms, played games
and sang songs such as “Hokey pokey”, did chores such as
fetching water from the river, but most of all, gave eighty
plus children my time and affection.
These children have one torn school uniform which they wear
all week, they wear second hand clothes and shoes with many
holes, they make toys out of garbage on the street, many do
not live with their parents, some do not eat in addition to
the modest breakfast “porridge” and lunch “rice & beans”
provided by the children’s center. The women working in the
center are not guaranteed a stipend in addition to the meals
they receive. The country prays for rain and when there is
drought people starve.
I am most grateful that I anticipate food every day of my
life and often I choose what I eat. Also, most grateful that
I have the capacity to fix the problems that I face in life.
While hiking the Ngong Hills - I realized life often has
peaks and valleys, and when the climb gets really tough,
don’t overwhelm yourself by looking at the top of the hill,
just focus on your next step..."
Suzanne Meadows '04