Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Stories from the Field

Hi everyone!

My name is Deniz Talay Ongan. I came to Kenya to do good for people and children who need it the most. I wanted to inspire them so they can do anything thing they’d like to accomplish if they put their minds to it. Imagination not only to think and wish, but to also set goals – just having a plan and believing in going after what you want. As I complete my two weeks here, I will share my thoughts and experiences with you.
Assisting the children in Standards 4, 5, 6 and 7 has been an amazing experience for me. Seeing how little kids could have so much spirit and intelligence and determination was awesome. When I saw the whole village, I appreciated them even more. Their love and ambitions touched my heart, and I can say that I fell in love with many of them.

I have a little understanding of being an orphan as I was adopted from an orphanage by my mother – I was the chosen one, as my mother would say – and not only was I saved but I have had the best life. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, where you go or what you see – the only thing that matters is to know that you are loved. I’d like all the unappreciated and fatherless children in the orphanage to know that I love them. I will keep the memories I have shared with them for a lifetime. They have also taught me a lot about being happy with very little – I hope to pass that along. I will miss seeing all the children coming to the gate wanting to talk each time I turn my back and walk away. I am happy that I made an impression and made new friends.

I cannot begin to express my thanks to GVI team. They gave me teaching skills, overall kindness – the understanding and support I got was amazing. Each teacher has given someone something they will hold on to for a very long time – they are the true inspiration for the volunteers and EMs. This program not only helps the community, but it also helps each participant to find something about themselves which you might have lost, or didn’t know that you had.
I didn’t get a chance to work with the Marine or Forest teams, but I feel so very lucky to have briefly had the privilege to have met the teachers – I have a great deal of respect for them, and will not forget them.

Everyone here has left their comfort zone for a while and found amazingly soulful people. I have never in my 22 years of life experienced such friendly, funny, warm people with a great sense of humour. They will always be in my heart and in my memories of this experience I was privileged to have. One thing I know is that this is NOT the last time I am here. This Turkish-Australian gal will be BACK! I will even miss waking up so early in the morning (ha ha…).

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I hope I will see you soon. And to the green snake that fell on me, the goats, the monkey, the dogs, Snotty the cat, and the people in Paradise – I won’t forget you either.

Until next time, love all around.

Kyle, Aishe, A.P, and Deniz