Friday, April 16, 2010

Dream to Real

We are Lyn and Darcy, a mother-daughter team living in Canada. We are set to fulfill a dream this summer before Darcy heads off to university. We hear the echoes of children in need of education; the stirrings from the wildlife that call the Masaai Mara home; and the rhythm of people who endure much - and have even more to share. Africa is calling ... and we are heeding the call.  
Follow along on our adventure as we travel to Kenya in July 2010 to help build a school and learn more about the world we live in -- and ourselves.We are a mother daughter team who want to share what we believe will a life changing experience. 

I just paid the final installment for the Free the Children trip this week. So that's it. The flights are booked and paid for (at twice the price - thank you World Cup!), and  Free the Children is booked and paid.

And considering how many months ago it was that we first put the wheels in motion for the Kenya trip, it is shocking to realize that we are only nine weeks out. Africa the dream is becoming a reality.

I still have a mound of paperwork to complete, and travel health insurance to buy. FTC requires that all trip participants get the best level of health insurance possible, including the emergency air lift options. With Darcy's anaphylaxis to bee and wasp stings, it is absolutely critical.

I also have to look into what shots and meds we'll need to get before we go to be fully protected against disease and the effects of insect bites etc.

The excitement that has been simmering for the past two years is heating to boil. And the support from our family, friends and work colleagues has been overwhelming. I feel like we have an army of angels pulling for us.

Africa ... the call is getting louder.


Itinerary: Here is what we are in for!

July 2, 2010 Adventure Begins

Day 2
  • Evening Arrival in Nairobi and meet the Me to We Trip facilitators.
  • Stay at Karen Blixen Coffee Garden: house was the home of the coffee farm manager for the Blixen Coffee Plantation. The home has been fully restored and now serves as a  resort.
Day 3
  • Visit the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage established in 1977 in memory of David Sheldrick, the famous naturalist and founding warden of Tsavo East National Park in Kenya.
  • Kenya Giraffe Centre
  • Alfresco dining at a popular local haunt.
  •  Karen Blixen Museum
  • Kazuri Beads Factory
  • Dinner at Karen Blixen Coffee Garden 
Day 4
  • Fly by plane to the Masai Mara for stay at Bogani Cottages and Luxury Tented Camp
  • Learn about Free The Children’s Adopt-A-Village Program
  • Learn about Free The Children’s unique Adopt-A-Village (AAV) model:  four key pillars to break the cycle of poverty and achieve long-term community development:
  1. Quality primary education
  2. Health care services
  3. Alternative income projects
  4. Safe/clean drinking water and sanitation systems
  • Visit Enerelai Primary School
  • Guided tour of Free The Children’s school – Enerelai, seeing the difference between an old and new school.
  • Dinner with Robin Wiszowaty, Free The Children’s Kenya Programs Director and author of a book about her experience living amongst the Maasai, entitled “My Maasai Life.”
Day 5
  • Community Water Walk: with the Mamas at Emori Joi for a special walk through the community. Learn more about how the Kipsigis organize their homes and live. Fetch water with the Mamas; talk by Mamas at Bogani about gender and culture in Kenya.
  • Lunch with Mamas
  • Community Welcome:  welcome ceremony in their community
  • School building 101: work along side Maasai/Kipsigi community members to help build a new school for the community. 
Day 6
  • Tree Nursery and Duka Tour
  • Visit Free The Children's newest program initiatives. Tour tree nursery, reputed to be one of the country’s largest, with 80,000 indigenous seedlings produced each year.
  • Visit the Duka, which offers beaded handicrafts by local women and is a part of Free The Children’s alternative income programming strategy.
  • School building: continue work on the volunteer school building project.
Day 7
  • Mulot Market:  an authentic African market and learn about the economic environment in which the community members live.
  • School building: continue working on your volunteer school building project. 
Day 8
  • School beautification
  • Plant  trees in memory of our visit to Bogani and Free The Children. Trees will be individually adopted by members of the community.
  • Medicine Walk and Maasai Warrior Training:  a leisurely hike as we learn about medicinal herbs from a local Maasai warrior. We'll also have the chance to train in the art of Maasai weaponry
  • Traditional Nyama Choma dinner – Kenya’s barbecue.
  • Say Kwaheri to the community
  • Debrief about the experience with  facilitators.
Day 9
  • Depart from Bogani for the Fairmont Mara Safari Club tented safari camp (more decadent than we'd prefer)
  • First safari: an evening drive through the Mara to look for giraffes, lions, elephants, hippos and buffalos
Day 10
  • More safari in the game park.
Day 11
  • Fly back to Nairobi by plane to Wilson Airport.
  • Market shopping
  • Re-packing  luggage for the journey home.
  • Feast at the Carnivore
  • Off to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for  flight home
  • Kwaherini na safari jemma!
Day 12
  • Arrive home in North America
Too short of a journey, I know. But it will provide us with a taste and we will surely return some day.


  1. I feel your anticipation building and look forward to sharing this wonderful Mother/Daughter journey thru each and every exciting step.

  2. I think this is wonderful! (I also had no idea that Kidlet's name wasn't really Kidlet)
    I wish the best of luck for both of you!

  3. Shirl - thanks for your support and interest.

    Jon - the secret about Kidlet is out ... thanks for being the "first"!