Published: April 12th 2011March 30th 2011
We want to take a moment to thank family and friends at home for their generous support of our journey to Masailand through donations to the community we set out to help.
THE MONSON FAMILY- The children in Masailand, as I am sure you will tell from the pictures, have close to nothing. They did not have toys to entertain them after school, paper to do their homework, proper clothes to wear to school… But by far what stood out the most was the lack of shoes for the children. Some came to school bare foot, while others wore shoes that had holes so their toes were not crammed into shoes far too small for them. As hard as it was to witness the extreme level of poverty, we were continuously refreshed by the charming smiles and uplifting nature the children approached us with everyday. The Nike athletic shoes you gave me to hand out lit up these children’s faces as though they were receiving the best Christmas present you could possible imagine. It brought tears to my eyes as I helped the children try on shoes in hope of finding a pair that would fit. I hope the pictures remind
your family of how blessed we are to live in the world that we do… where something we view as a necessity at home is a farfetched luxury in places like Masailand. McGuire, Mollie Paige, Maddox, and McKenna- your shoes are now being worn by children living lives on the other side of the world who are enduring hard ships that you cannot even imagine. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to pass on your shoes and I hope that you all keep a generous spirit in your heart as you grow in the years to come. I also must note here that I used the money you gave me from the “left over jar” to buy candy for the children. As they struggle to find enough food to eat everyday something as simple as a lollipop is a very rare treat. The lollipops overjoyed the children as their faces lit up when they tasted the sweetness of candy. Your family holds a very special place in my heart and again I thank you for giving me the opportunity to pass on a bit of your love in Africa.
SCOTT AND MELISSA- I cannot stress enough
about how moved I was by your generosity when I spoke with you about my trip to Kenya at a basketball game. Thank you so much for the monetary donations along with the glasses and seeds. I would have never thought about how items as simple as glasses and seeds could make a huge difference in a person’s life! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity to see the smiles these simple commodities brought to the Masai people’s faces. The mother of the Masai family we lived with did all the farming and at dinner one night she told us about the plants she likes to grow in her small plot of land. We immediately brought out the stack of seeds from our bags and the entire family was thrilled about the food that these seeds promised them. The glasses were one of the more exciting gifts to give out because of the unique expression that appears on a person’s face when they discover what they were missing out on. Again thank you so much for letting us spread your generosity to the Masai. We used some of the money to purchase school
supplies for Osopuko. As you hopefully have seen in the pictures from the Masailand blog, Osopuko was a small remote school consisting of tin shacks, second hand chalk boards, and wooden benches. Most of the children did not have paper or pencils to do school work and the teachers fought over the little chalk they had to use for instruction. The teachers were ecstatic about what we brought with us for the children and continually thanked us for our generosity. We also bought the children a brand new soccer ball to play with... this was probably one of the highlights of our trip- watching the children play with a ball that before they only dreamed of having. The school had one soccer ball when we arrived that was flat and left neglected in the corner of the office. Most of the children spent recess kicking this flat ball around or using a ball they made from trash and string. The new ball drew over half of the three hundred or so kids at the school to run around the soccer field in hopes of catching an opportunity to kick the new ball. Again thank you for the difference you made
in the lives of the Masai people. The remainder of your donation went to the Shepherds Orphanage located just outside of Nairobi. The hostel we stayed at supported the orphanage through donations from its visitors. We were very excited to take part in this program and thank you for the opportunity to do so!
MOM AND DAD- The balloons were a brilliant idea!!! The children went crazy over the bright colors and repeatedly asked us for more. The highlight of giving out balloons took place when Jake and I ventured over the hill to a small preschool that was held in a church. The teacher lived in a manyatta near to ours and told us about the school he started on his own. He went around convincing the parents who could not pay for uniforms that it was still important that they attend school. Without any funding he started the preschool for these children. We brought balloons and stickers for all fifty of the young preschoolers. Elated, they bounced around the hills in a swirl of color with their many balloons. Thank you!
There are more photos below