Kari Bannister, Volunteer from England, arrived 28 May 2012, staying for 2 months at the GLO.

My husband and I are on a 6 month sabbatical from work travelling in Asia and Africa and wanted to spend some time volunteering in Kenya to hopefully be of some help and also to get to know the Kenyan people & way of life better than if we were just passing through.We arrived at Mombassa airport very weary after 24 hours travelling and new in Africa and were greeted by a very smiley David and Auntie Margaret. Via a few stops en route to the Orphanage (once to sell some chickens) we drove in the gates and children lined the pathway singing and dancing to greet us. Holding our hands and incorporating our names into their song of welcome. Welcome to Africa and the Good Life Orphanage – amazing!

Andrew & Kari's Welcome

Karibu, Karibu

The first few days we were exhausted and just trying to find our feet. Now 2 weeks on, we feel totally at home, we’re really getting to know everyone, know nearly all the children’s names, know how to help & feel we have a role here. We are ‘attached’ to one of the 5 houses, so we take all our meals there, we have a ‘Mama’ to guide us and 2 children who tirelessly teach us Swahili and even give us homework. The food and accommodation is all good and life is very comfortable here.

Andrew with our caterpillars

The Orphanage is so well set up, run by people who really care and have a great sense of community between them and there are great resources here.
Initially, we weren’t sure how much we could add as it seems to run so smoothly but once you’ve spent a few days here you can find ways in which you can add to life here, and if nothing else a little extra attention to the children never goes amiss. I think that it is very much a case of the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. Currently we have tasked all the children to save the toilet rolls so we will make rockets with the children on Saturday during ‘eductional play’ (Blue Peter style).

Kari enjoys playing with the children

Everyone is hugely friendly and welcoming and the children are lovely and well behaved. The older kids are so keen to learn and always want help with homework or for you to set extra homework.

My tips are to remind yourself of the old nursery rhymes and songs you sang as kids (especially those with actions), don’t bring your favourite clothes (as you do get dirty) and bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm!

Kari (12 June 2012)