We woke early on Wednesday to give a final hug to the kids and send them off the school. It was picturesque to stand in the swirling red dust of Amalemba Road as kids from all over the neighborhood cane out in their uniforms to head to school. The Care Centre kids waved goodbye and we were left with their sweet smiles. It was a busy day from then on, packing our luggage, taking a round of final pictures, and saying thank you to the staff at the Care Centre. I have not yet mentioned the staff but they were without a doubt another loving presence during our time in Kakamega. Our girls made fabulous friends with Mama Lydia or Mati (the house mother), Sheila (one of the cooks who prepared DELICIOUS food for us the whole time), Joseph, Anne, Linda, Humphrey, Wycliffe, Godfrey, Mercy, Grace, Kelvin, Armstrong, Florence, and Margaret who all welcomed us from the moment we arrived. They taught the girls Swahili, how to do laundry, to sweep, new songs, how to connect with the kids and so much more. As we departed they dressed us in traditional fabrics as a parting gift, something we will all cherish.
We drove to Kisumu which is about 90 minutes from Kakamega, on the edge of Lake Victoria, where we boarded a flight to Nairobi. This was the first time flying for one of our Kenyan guides Beryl, and it was perhaps the most exciting flight any of us have been on. It was a beautiful sight out the window but here was so much turbulence! That stomach sinking bumping. Poor Beryl! One our girls held her hand throughout:)
This morning we woke up so early to leave the hotel at 6:00am to go on a safari! We had such an amazing time and got to see so many animals. Giraffes, thinks, zebras, and we even got right up next to a female lion! Picture courtesy of Anna Schupack. We had a surprise for the girls and made a stop at an elephant orphanage to watch a feeding. Holy moly were they adorable! Photo courtesy of Claris Dabah. It was then off to the local market to pick up souvenirs and gifts. We learned a lot about bartering, but found many beautiful things to bring home.
Now we are on our bus, heading to the airport for a 22 hour journey home. These girls have demonstrated the heart and soul of what it means to be an Emma girls. Even as we laugh ourselves silly with exhausted delirium there is pure love and friendship within this group. Though we will miss Kenya more than is possible to say we are so excited to share our stories and the stories of the people we met.
Tuta onana tena!
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