Catrin Elder Kenya Masai

What members of staff do you remember the most and why? 

All of them because they did their best to support me, for example, I was sent to the hospital in Ngong and they all came to see me as they were concerned

What were your impressions of the accommodation?
I thought it was fine, I wasn’t expecting anything more and my host family were so warm and welcoming. They even apologized for the accommodation which was not needed at all!

Why did you want to volunteer?
I wanted to do something helpful. In the UK, people moan so much about not having money. But in Africa they suffer poverty every day, yet the children there are so happy and the people there just get on with life and work so hard just to get by.

Do you feel you made a difference, how?
Yes, I definitely made a small difference, obviously it is hard to change the way things are there when going for a short period. But I worked together as a team to fix a road in Olasiti, and the results were visible and the road was more accessible when I left. I taught in a primary school, which allowed the teacher to do other things which was a help. Also the children love volunteers just being there so much and they will remember us and our time there forever.

What did you do for fun?

When was your most enjoyable experience, do you have an interesting story?
So many! Going to see the giraffes in the next village on foot was incredible. Also I would say just spending time in evening with my host family and volunteers were really enjoyable, listening to my host, Leah’s stories about living in the village. She told some very interesting ones about when they had a lion on the loose.

Who did you make friends with and for what reasons?
I made friends with the volunteers because we got on well, and they were very nice people with lots in common.

What were the names of the best places to hang out and socialise, why was this?
I was staying in a village called Olasiti, a very small village, so I just found out where the other volunteers were and hung out with them round there or in Ngong.

Would you considering going again or perhaps to another project with Original Volunteers? Please explain why.
Definitely!! Not sure about going to Kenya Masai again, just because there are so many places I want to see. It’s just such an amazing experience in so many ways. It brings you out of your comfort zone into so many exciting new cultures and allows you to meet wonderful people. It is an emotional experience, it makes you realise what is important. It is inspiring to see people with absolutely nothing so upbeat.

What items would you suggest future volunteers take?
A money belt is a good idea, also a camera which uses AA or AAA batteries is a good idea as you don’t need to worry about charging it as long as you take lots of spare batteries.

Could you offer any tips to future volunteers?
Plan your stay around the rainy season, as you will be able to do more then. Just try to be as open minded as possible and try things you wouldn’t normally