Monday 30 May 2022
What a day! I can safely say that this is one of the best days that I have ever had in Kenya on any of my trips. I won’t mention about the kitchen and double storey classroom that we are building, they are still going really well. Instead…
Upon arrival, I was able to give my 100 cups that I purchased from the wholesalers to Valentine, the headmistress of West End Academy, who was a little emotional when I gave them to her. Almost immediately she handed them out to class PP1, the nursery children who filled them up with water. I didn’t notice it at the time, until a small boy, maybe four years old, walked up to me with a cup in hand. That made me extremely emotional. As described yesterday, without food or water, children will not be able to live or learn effectively.
My second cry of the day was an email that I received. Since December 2019, I have found a passion in helping people who are suffering with a mental health illness, especially men. With ‘For Men To Talk’ becoming a known support group throughout Bedfordshire, I have been offered a role within MIND (Bedfordshire, Luton, Milton Keynes) as a ‘Community Connector’, connecting people with suitable facilities to help to improve their mental health. This is a role that I am extremely excited about and something that I simply can’t turn down. It is a career change for me, being in Marketing for over 15 years. So in the evening, I was able to hand in my notice to my full time role that I’ve had for nearly three years.
My third cry of the day was at lunch time, with myself, Dad and brother Paul. We were reminiscing about previous holidays, which included my Mum. For those who don’t know, my Mum passed away 17 years ago and I wish she could see me now, working in Kenya, my wife and my children, building ‘For Men To Talk’ and especially today when I found out about my new job. I miss her terribly and although there is acceptance that she isn’t here, it’s still very hard being without her.
My fourth cry of the day was when we arrived back to our hotel. Over the previous six trips, we have worked at St.Trizah School, Mama Kerry and now West End Academy. But from my first trip in 2014, I met James, a young 10 year boy, who I befriended. Every trip, I have been able to see him and see how he is. But now in 2022, he is 18 years old, left school and the last conversation I had with him, was moving to Nairobi, nearly 200 miles away. However, as I jumped down from the mini bus, I heard him shout my name and like a scene from a movie, I chucked my bag onto the floor and embraced him. What a surprise. We spent the next couple of hours talking about the last couple of ‘covid’ years and his dreams and aspirations for the future.
All cried out for one day!