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

Monday, September 5, 2011

Island Life with GVI

Joining the GVI team for 2weeks in Mkwiro was more rewarding then I could have ever imagined.  I came to teach English but it never seems like work.  Working with other volunteers and sharing ideas and teaching methods has been an integrated experience and lots of fun.  Teaching basic grammar to the students, computer lessons to the teachers, after-school clubs, planning committee for future clubs, music and movement to the kindergarten or reading in the village to younger children of the village – our days are always different, exciting and new.  The highlight of the two weeks was painting the Standard 1 classroom, where our work will be viewed by many children for years to come.

Part of the whole volunteer experience is the staff that organizes and oversees our days and keep the programs running smoothly.  Their passion, dedication and hard work often do not get the recognition they deserve.  They are well received by the village community from the two weeks I have observed – improving quality of education and way of life for very disadvantaged individuals.  They are indeed making a difference in the people of Mkwiro’s lives in ways that they can better help themselves for the future generations and not just the here and now situations – developing businesses, empowering women and instilling a love of learning in students.

The children of Mkwiro are always smiling and yelling ‘Jambo’ when we pass through the village or into the school.  I never get tired of hearing ‘Madam, what is your name?’ as they are so proud of themselves for remembering your name the next time they see you.  The community has a wonderful small town feel to it, you always feel welcome, never intruding into their personal space.  My favourite part is the smiles on the children’s faces when they recognize a ‘GVI Volunteer’ and know we are here to help them learn in a fun way.

Living on the island has flew by – where 2weeks have gone already in shocking.  It seems like only yesterday that we arrived, set up our nets with mosquito news and started our simple life.  The other volunteers are amazing people with many stories to share, there is always something making us laugh and enjoying each other company.  I truly will remember this experience for the rest of my life!!
Thank you GVI for this truly wonderful two weeks!!

Jessica – 2week Teaching Project Volunteer, Mkwiro