Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Kenya.


Naru Moru, Kenya: Today was just introductions…

Posted in Kenya on December 23, 2011

We are in our work clothes and ready to go for the day! The 15-20 minute walk to the project site in reality is 45 minutes. The sun is hot, but the children waving to us as we walk are wearing toques and sweaters. My new favourite word is ‘Jambo’ which means hello. We wave and yell jambo all the way to our first stop – the water tank built by a Developing World Connections student trip in 2010. We continue our walk for 1km to the main water tank where we learn how to use shovels and hoes the Kenyan way. The plan is to dig 2 ft into the ground for 1 km and with the help of the community, we are confident we will see it happen. We begin digging, and quickly learn we are not built for this, but we are positive and ready to give everything we have for these amazing people.

Hours of sweat equity later, my team is feeling overwhelmed with the extent of the project and physical demand of the work ahead. It was an eye opener to say the least. Formal introductions are made back at the house; several members of the Gitwe Irrigation Water Project committee members have joined us to welcome us to the project and share information about the project.

The Gitwe Irrigation Water Project serves over 600 locals, with both drinking water, and water for irrigation during the dry season. It is when the secretary of the project, Sylvester, makes a remark that I feel my eyes fill with tears. I expected my first tearful experience to occur through sight, not sound. He explains, “Water for us is life, when we see you, we see life.” The genuine tone in his voice fills me with emotions that I can barely contain. At that moment, I am ruthlessly reminded why I am here. I will make a difference, big or small. The Chairman of the project, Jeff, concludes the meeting by letting us know that today was just training and introductions…the real work will begin tomorrow.
“Tomorrow is serious business” he says.

Jasmine Dhillon
DWC Team Leader
Kenya December 2011

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