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, February 17, 2010

A Letter from the Heart of Tsavo West

I’ve been back in the UK just a couple days and I’m missing, everyone in Kidong like crazy: our fearless leader Sara, who is nothing less than amazing with what she has created and continues to do for the area; not to mention the endless red dirt roads of Tsavo and everything that is associated with life in the Taveta region.

Ok, so how do you not ‘gush’? Well you just have to! It was all just too overwhelmingly beautiful. The villagers were the hardest working people I have ever met in my life. We all became a team and a big family overnight. We were welcomed the very first morning with greetings of ‘Jambo’ and huge smile; and, every morning after that. Kenya is full of smiling welcoming people, which is something I will never forget.

Chris Hard at Work
GVI volunteers and the Kidong community worked together for a common purpose to reach a common goal - a sustainable alternative livelihood for Kidong’s community of ex-poachers and their families. The resulting project would bring a wonderful gift shop and restaurant for safari lodges to bring their groups to visit when on safari. This was especially meaningful because it was a decision made by the community themselves and they were grateful for the assistance of GVI. And, it has been accomplished! The whole project was nearly complete in just 2 weeks - quite phenomenal when you think about it. But it had to be done - the village couldn’t wait, the wildlife couldn’t wait.

Chris Taking Some Time Out with the Community and other Volunteers

Having actively contributed to this project; this is key for me - that I actively contributed. We got to see it, we got to participate and we got to know exactly what the results are from all of it. We got to share in the celebration, the satisfaction of selfless giving and hard work made fun. We made a difference and that’s what made the difference!

Chris Hartridge
To be continued...