My mom and I recently went to Kenya and before we left we learned about Pack for a Purpose through my best friend. My best friend, Marina, went to Tanzania for her Honeymoon and her travel company (who also ended up being our travel company), Extraordinary Journeys, told her about Pack for a Purpose. I immediately loved the idea and wanted to Pack for a Purpose for my trip with my mom.
I started about a month and a half before my trip. My Aunt, my cousin, my mom and my work all helped generate two huge bags of supplies and clothing. Most supplies and clothes were purchased, my work donated a bunch of school bags and balls. It was fun getting all of the items together and figuring out how to get it over to Kenya.
My mom and I were carrying our own traveling bags on the plane, so we could check the two large Pack for Purpose bags on the plane for free. In advance of our trip, I worked with our camp, Elephant Pepper Camp, and the land trust, Land & Life Foundation, to have them pick-up the two large bags and take them via truck to the camp. We needed them to be transported via truck from Nairobi because there are weight restrictions on the planes would be traveling on and Elephant Pepper Camp was our last stop on our trip.
When we arrived at Elephant Pepper Camp, Alison Mees, the camp manager, had all of the supplies and clothes we had brought over. We spend several hours sorting and organizing the supplies and clothes to give to the different classrooms.
The next morning we departed for Ololomei Primary School. We were fortunate enough that Alison offered to accompany us. She has been an advocate and a partner of the school. She has been instrumental in getting the funding for new classrooms at the school.
Along the way, we saw our first cheetah, Neema. Both my mom and I had cheetahs at the top of our wish list of the animals we wanted to see in Kenya, so we were VERY excited to see beautiful Neema. The school is about an hour from the camp and we saw elephants, topis, zebras, gazelle and many other animals along the way.
We arrived and met with the school administrators and teachers. We went into each classroom and introduced ourselves, let them know a little bit about who we were and where we were from. The highlight for me, was giving out reusable sanitary pads to the upper level girls, knowing that going forward that they won’t have to skip school during their periods.
Another fun moment was when we blew up a ball and watched the kids play soccer in the schoolyard.
It was wonderful to Pack for a Purpose, we were offered the opportunity to have a deeper understanding of Kenya. We will be Packing for a Purpose in the future!