A Reflection of My Time Spent in Nairobi

The first week we spent in Africa was with The Giving Exchange, volunteering at orphanages and delivering supplies to medical clinics in Nairobi, Kenya. We spent the week staying at a main orphanage, Morning Star Ministries, in Kiambu. During the week, we visited three other orphanages as well: Njoo Dada Trust, Riruta Shade Orphanage, and Dream Children’s Home. On our excursions to the orphanages we ran workshops with the kids ranging from making bracelets to playing with a giant parachute to teaching them new games. At each of the orphanages we visited we formally donated a sustainably focused project that fulfilled something that they desperately needed. We also donated various items including art supplies, first aid kits, soccer balls, games, etc.

While that gives a brief summary of the first week logistically, I can’t begin to put into words and to describe how amazing our week spent at Morning Star really was. This experience was truly life changing and since leaving, there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about the kids and the time we shared together. When you’re here, the degree of poverty is immediately apparent from the conditions of the slums and the trash burning along the roadsides, but none of those things did anything to lessen the joy and open-mindedness of everyone we met. We had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people and hear their stories of resilience and it was so empowering.

I think that we frequently forget how fortunate we are as our individual perspectives are so limited by our surroundings, but here people do so much with so much less. As cliche as it sounds, this trip really has changed how I view life’s small inconveniences and annoyances. We really do need to “sweat the small stuff” a little less and to leverage the opportunities that we’ve been provided to make a difference whether it’s on a big scale or a small one. This trip may have taken me across the world, but we have so many opportunities to get involved within our own communities and this is something I have every intention of taking more advantage of and I hope that you will too.

I can’t describe how grateful I am to have had this opportunity and I really can’t wait to go back.