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

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Once upon a time in Shimoni.....

It all began four months ago on October first, 2011.  I was just a 23 year old kid from Chicago arriving in Africa for the first time.  With the exhaustion I felt, it was hard to even feel nervous when my taxi driver dropped me off at the Reef Hotel in Mombasa.  It was easy to pick out the new “GVIs” so we all clustered together at once.

The program began with a pick up by GVI staff members and it was pretty much straight to work from there. I signed up for the community program so I did a lot of teaching from the start and immediately fell in love with Shimoni.  We did a couple weeks of marine and forest activities but in my heart I knew that I wanted to lead teach for the second half of my stay. 

Eric gets acquainted with Rama
Once our ten weeks of combination training was over, all of the interns were allowed to apply for a staff position to lead new volunteers.  I of course adamantly tried to receive the lead teacher position in Shimoni.  I felt that my interview went well but unfortunately I did not have a stunning CV.  After a week of nervousness/excitement, our positions were finally assigned and I landed the teaching position!!!

From there we had an exciting vacation for a couple weeks and then it was straight to training.  Getting to know the four schools we work with and how to lead new volunteers was only a small fraction of what was to come next. I cannot lie; the first week and a half of holding this position was filled with frightening confusion. Now that week 3 is almost over, I can finally say that I am settling in quite well.  This experience has helped me grow as a person and I know that the next couple months will be extremely productive and something that I can continue to expand on when I depart for home.

Eric Schrock
Shimoni Community Field Staff