Sharing Cultures in Kenya

By Kerith, Voluntourist

My name is Kerith and I am from The South East of England, just west of Brighton. I’ve come to IHF Kenya as a voluntourist.  I have been at IHF Kenya for just over a week now and I have one week to go.  I know already that I will be really sad to leave. I’ll definitely be looking to see if I can come back some day.

I have been put in charge of the rabbits while I am here.  They are great although the cockerel that leaves with them is mildly terrifying.  I always try and take some of the kids with me to help with the rabbits, as much to protect me from that rooster as to learn about caring for the rabbits.

Glitter!I bought lots of story books with me from England and have been reading with the kids.  They read really well once they have overcome their
shyness and they have as much fun laughing at their English pronunciation as they do laughing at my Swahili.  So far George’s Marvellous Medicine has definitely been the favourite and a group of us
read that between us in one sitting.

This week we have been making decorations to get ready for cutting down and decorating a tree next week.  One of girls is blind and I made a couple of bulbs with her. Amazingly she was the one who stayed the neatest out of all of the kids.  It was the first time many of them had seen glitter and we all ended up covered in glue, coloured pen and glitter.  Even the boys joined in and before we knew it everyone had sparkly hair.

One of our Co-Directors, Mike, Fitnessran a fitness session.  Mike is a sports coach at home in South Africa and is hoping to run a football tournament here early next year.  I think there might have been more giggling and collapsing than push ups but they all had great fun.  Mike will not admit this in a million years but some of the older boys definitely gave him a run for his money.

As the week has gone on the kids have started to trust me more, they have been more open about their own stories and culture.  They are also keen to hear about me and ask loads of questions about where I live in England and English culture.  Some of the boys showed me videos of men fighting to win a bride and asked if this happens in English culture.  I couldn’t help
but laugh.  I explained that we are not supposed to fight and that we can The girls!go to prison for fighting.  But they should see Brighton town centre on a Saturday night!  They are also confused that I’m ‘old’ but don’t have kids.  It’s easy to forget that we have the luxury of choice in these matters.  Besides, being ‘mum’ to these kids for a couple of weeks is the best and most rewarding experience any parent could ask for.



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