My journey started on the 1st June when I set off from Manchester England to head out to Mombasa it was a long journey but an exciting one as it was a place I had never visited and also something that I had been planning for a year. I arrived in Mombasa on 2nd June where I was met by Dennis and Molly who made me feel comfortable straight away. We headed to Tumaini where I was shown my room and the compound. I settled in and then time to catch up on some sleep ready to start work the next day.
My first day working in the schools I was in KG1 with the little ones, what a lovely class of children and also teachers. I had a lovely day getting to see how they carry out their teaching and how the children learn, this was a shock to me as it was so different to how the nursery children here in England are taught as we believe they learn through play however they sat at desks and wrote letters of the alphabet, repeated what the teachers were saying and such like however it was a very interesting insight in to the differences.
Each evening I ate with the children in the Orphanage where I was made to feel very welcome by the children and also Charles and Mary where I was feed well on the traditional Kenyan food which I must say is very filling. It was lovely after the meal to help with chores if possible or just sit and chat to the children who showed a keen interest in England and my life asking many valued questions.
While in Mombasa I spent most of my time in KG1/3 and Class 5 – my time in class 5 was also insightful again into the teaching of the children, here I had brought out letters from a school in England and was hoping to get the children to write back some responses, they were very forthcoming with this and happy to write back to the children in England. This was a lovely activity to do with them as they also had many questions about England and the such like. I met many wonderful children including Jane and Elvis just to name two.
My time at Tumaini was short but a massive achievement for myself to go out there alone, however I learnt a lot about their lifestyle and the huge differences to here in England. It has made me realise what I have got and feel very privileged to have what I have but also saddened to see that they have nothing, however, on this note the children and adults were always happy, welcoming and interested and this surprised me as they have nothing but are still very happy whereas this is often not the case in England even though the people here have much much more. During my time I went to Diani and saw some sights of Mombasa which made me realise how little people had, their living conditions and much more.
I was very privileged to have had the chance to visit Tumaini and would love to go back again but I would take someone with me as the nights were often lonely in the apartment on my own.
I had an amazing time meeting many new people and I would like to thank Charles and Mary for feeding me in the children’s home each night, the wonderful children for accepting me into their home and their school and also the teachers. Maureen for organising everything and helping me settle in, Glyn for helping me arrange everything, answering my many questions all to sort out my trip even though I didn’t get to meet him I hope that one day I will, Juma for cleaning my room each day and the little chats. Last but not least Molly, Helen, Hassan and Dennis for showing me the sights and making my experience memorable. I hope to see you all again one day.
Take care; keep believing and may your dreams come true (whatever these may be).
Written by Lisa-Jane Brown (University of Central Lancashire)