A friend of mine named Josy (age 7) went to Kenya, Africa, during summer break. She had an amazing time going on safari and doing some really great volunteer work. In our Q & A, she shares her experience! To see more photos, make sure you check out the slide show at the end of this post. (Remember: if you see a word in our Wondermint color it means you can click on that word to learn more about it.)
GRAY: Who went to Kenya with you?
JOSY: I went with my whole family: my mom, my dad, & my older brother Sean. We were part of a group of travelers organized by the company Me to We, which sets up volunteering trips for the charity Free the Children.
GRAY: Where did you go in Kenya?
JOSY: We went to Nairobi first, then we went to two places in the Maasai Mara: Bogani, where we visited the charity Free the Children and helped out, and Richard’s Camp, where we went on Safari. Then we went to the coastal town of Kilifi and swam in the Indian Ocean!
GRAY: What was the weather like when you were there?
JOSY: Basically, it would switch back and forth from being sunny to cloudy, but not too rainy.
GRAY: What kind of animals did you find most interesting?
JOSY: Leopards, lions, wildabeest, wart hogs, zebras & giraffes!
GRAY: What was your favorite part of your trip to Kenya?
JOSY: When we got to the Bogani cottages. I noticed it was really different than where I live in the United States and I thought it was very neat that we were in Africa! We learned about Maasai warriors when we were at the Bogani Cottages and the Maasai culture. We even had “warrior” training, where they showed us how to use their traditional weapons.
Josy & I break for a snack then continue talking about her other adventures. I loved hearing about her first trip in a hot air balloon…
GRAY: What was it like being in a hot air balloon?
JOSY: Well, it was my first time in a hot air balloon! There were 8 people in the balloon with us. It was awesome! Technically, I wasn’t scared. It sounds weird, but we had to start upside down.
GRAY: What do you mean upside down?!
JOSY: Like this.
At this point in our Q & A, Josy lays down on the sofa, hanging her head off the front with her legs hanging over the back of the sofa. I did the same. We did the rest of our interview upside down in this kooky position.
JOSY: In the hot air balloons we were super high in the sky, above the trees. And, we could look down and see all sorts of animals.
Hot air balloons can fly up to 1000 feet above ground level!
GRAY: What kind of charity work did you do while you were in Kenya?
JOSY: We helped build elementary schools with Free the Children for the kids in the Maasai Mara. The original schools were made of wood, dung (animal poop!) and mud and had to be rebuilt every year when it rained. The schools the charity built were made of cinderblocks and concrete. We mixed the concrete with water and stacked the cinder blocks up, building the walls and putting something called mortar* in between. (*mortar is a mixture of cement or lime or both mixed with sand and water. It is used to get bricks or stones to stick to each other to make a wall.)
GRAY: What do you miss about Kenya?
JOSY: My favorite place was the beach there. I’ll miss that. Also, I’ll miss seeing a leopard every day. I would often see them sleeping in a tree.
More interesting facts about Kenya:
- Maasai homes are called Inkajijik. They are rectangular and loaf-shaped and constructed from the land. The women of the tribe are responsible for building the houses using materials such as sticks, grass, mud and even cow dung.
- The Maasai tribe speaks Maa and are also schooled in English and Swahili (the official languages of Tanzania and Kenya).
- Nairobi is the capital and the largest city of Kenya.
- Kenya is named after Mt. Kenya, the tallest mountain in the country (5,199 metres, 17,057 feet).
- The word “Jambo” is Swahili for “Hello.”
When you visit the Me To We charity site, you can download free ADVENTURE COLORING SHEETS that show Kenyan animals and culture. See examples below.
Would you like to learn more about the charities/non-profit organizations Free The Children and Me to We? Click on their names to see how your family can plan a volunteer trip or raise money to help kids around the world by funding a school, or a goat, or clean water!
Click to learn more about the Maasai Mara area of Kenya.
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