Over the past month, Arrive has been graced with the presence of a number of volunteers. Solomon from Ghana taught art classes to the students, Emma and Cassie from Australia aided with daily chores, and Mathew from America has just arrived (no pun intended) to begin community development projects in Uriri. But the true story of the past few weeks is not who, but where; and, thus, a tale of two migrations begins.
The first migration came last Wednesday when Arrive Advisory Board Member JK cut the ribbon of the new Light Home of Hope boys’ dormitory. Consisting of a dorm, a dining hall/study room, and sanitary washrooms, the boys have now migrated from their temporary structure into their permanent dormitory. Just a few of the benefits of their new living quarters are: a more spacious and cleaner environment, resources which enable them to complete homework in a study room, entertainment on Friday and Saturday night (thanks to a new television), and the boys’ own private and secure area. All of the boys are beyond excited to finally have a true and permanent home.
As the boys moved out of the temporary house, I gladly moved into the new vacant home left open. Sure, it is made from metal sheets and isn’t furnished, but to me it is paradise. For the first time in a few years, I am not living in someone else’s house – this metal shed is a place to call my own. It may not look like much to you, but Bakuu (my pup) and I are enjoying the new lot. Plus, it opens up my previous room in the Light Uriri Volunteer House for more volunteers and a more spacious living environment for our current volunteers.
The second migration was one of even greater proportions. Every year, millions of wildebeests migrate from the Serengeti in Tanzania into the greener pastures of Kenya. Our partner organization, Light Uriri, organized a field trip of epic proportions for the students of Light School, and Arrive sponsored all of our kids to attend.
Waking up at 3:00am, we hopped on a bus to Maasai Mara National Reserve – one of the most sought out tourist destinations in the world. I personally had been to Maasai Mara many times, but never during the famous wildebeest migration. The students, however, had never been to the park and could not believe their eyes as the bus passed by animals they had only read about in their textbooks. We saw: lions, giraffes, elephants, gazelle, zebras, warthogs, hyenas, vultures, baboons, hippos, crocodiles, buffalo, waterbucks, and of course, wildebeests. From my seat on the bus, as I looked out onto the savannah, I saw thousands upon thousands of wildebeests – they covered the horizon as far as I could see. It made me wonder if that is how the Native Americans and first cowboys saw the plains of the American west, covered in herds of buffalo, before they were killed to a point of near extinction.
The field trip was a huge success thanks to the management of Light School. The students (and I) were able to see not only the typical animals one would expect on safari, but also witness one of the largest migrations in the world and what some people describe as the “seventh natural wonder of the world.”
In my next blog post, I will address some changes to Arrive in order to bring our organization to the next level. Everyday, I see the impact that each and every one of you has made on the lives of these former street children, orphans, and vulnerable kids; thank you. In order to expand and help even more kids, stay tuned for my next post!
This was a very busy month and a short blog post cannot possibly cover everything. Below are a few photos from the past month...remember to follow us on social media for all the latest and greatest photos and updates: