By Natalija Gligorevic
The Travel with Purpose team’s journey in Kenya came to an end, but the heartfelt, powerful experiences will stay with the group of Garden Spot Village residents and staff. The final days of the trip, coordinated by Missions of Hope International (MOHI), were filled with numerous exciting activities that both the Travel with Purpose team, and the MOHI students, could enjoy.
An artistic adventure took place on Friday, September 15—the Garden Spot Village residents and staff accompanied the MOHI-sponsored children to Kitengela, a site of Kenyan glassblowing and pottery-making from recycled material. The group watched in amazement as a glassblower transformed hot and glowing melted glass into a creative, ruffled vase. Pottery-making was just a minute away at Zed’s Pottery Studio, where the group watched him shape clay into a beautiful bowl. After a walk along the cable bridge over the Mbagathi River, the day ended with a shared meal at the local KFC.
According to the Travel with Purpose team, another highlight of their trip was the Elephant Orphanage located in Nairobi National Park, which they visited on September 18 with the MOHI-sponsored kids. The group observed a baby rhino and a total of 27 orphaned elephants; they were able to feed and pet the animals together. The children were given new experiences that day—trying soft serve ice cream, scavenger hunt games on the bus ride, and connecting with a team of people they hadn’t known two weeks earlier. Knowing it was the team’s last day with the sponsored children, Jeannine Perry reflects on the emotional trip on social media:
“I have been amazed at how relationships have grown after spending three days with the sponsored children. Community is very important in the Kenyan culture and our team was easily accepted into their community. The two biggest impacts on me were when my sponsored child, Caleb, started calling me by name and when he handwrote me a blessing, ‘May God shower you, your team, your family, in your journey tomorrow and all the team with blessings.’”
Two days, September 19 and 20, were spent at MOHI’s Angaza Discovery Camp. It is a church camp for sixth-grade kids to experience the world through Jesus, learning how to make it the better place through the appreciation of nature, Bible study and worship. The Travel with Purpose team used their time at the camp learning about the program and connecting with campers.
The last three days of the trip was dedicated to the safari in the Masai Mara. There, the group observed Africa’s most exotic animals—zebras, giraffes, oxen, lions, elephants, hippos, hyenas, and more. They experienced the beautiful Kenyan terrain for the last time before boarding the plane back to the United States, where the crew landed and traveled safely back to New Holland.