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Blooms' Kenya blog: Days 7 & 8

11 June 2013

Days 7 & 8 - our final day at the accommodation was a rest day before we flew home.

Kenya is a very religious country so everyone is at church, meaning we couldn't do any work.

We had the luxury of a lay-in, but after getting up at seven o'clock every morning I was wide awake so Ben Campbell again joined me for my rehab and we headed to the adjoining field and then into the gym. Nothing better than an early morning workout to get yourself up for the day.

As a group we decided that we wanted to sample a bit of local life so headed into town. We have got to know the Derby and Pompey groups more and more over the last few days so they joined us for a stroll to look in the shops.

The market stalls were selling lovely authentic hand-made items and it was nice to see another side to Kenyan life. The gap between the rich and the poor out here is massive, there is no doubt about that.

We all bought a couple of gifts and items for ourselves - haggling was required. I actually quite enjoyed it and made sure I put on my game face!

We shot back to the accommodation to have a bit of a chill time before we were picked up for our farewell dinner.

The dinner itself was absolutely gorgeous. As is normal with Kenyan dining, rice, stew and veg were on the menu - it was delicious. It was an intimate dinner between ourselves and Pastor William, Beccy Jesson from African Adventures and Fred, the co-ordinator in Nakuru.

Pastor William again thanked us and said some lovely words. He has a way with words and said a couple of things that really hit home. We could see just how much the work we have done this week has meant to him.

Fred's speech was also very heartfelt, and he then asked me if I would like to say anything. Making spontaneous speeches has happened a couple of times already this week so I came a little prepared just in case.

I think it went ok and I was able to get across the feeling of not just me but the whole group. I'm lucky in the respect that I have a platform to tell what we have been up to, but this week has solely been about being a part of the team.

Bridget, Rosie, Charlotte and Becci Redmond have done a fantastic job over at the Destiny project, teaching in the classrooms, making food and generally looking after the children.

Chris, Darren and Matt Sadler have taken a wooden frame and transformed it into solid walls by wattle and daub. They have mixed mud and water all week and formed layers gradually filling the shell.

Matt Cecil, Ben Campbell and myself have been the 'plasterers' in a room that has already been constructed. We call ourselves the A-team and generally spoke a lot of rubbish all day but we worked our socks off, as did the whole group.

After our farewell dinner we returned to the accommodation for a few celebratory drinks. We felt like toasting the achievements of our week which has been so satisfying. We may have only had time to make very small changes out here, but they are changes all the same.

Derby and Pompey also joined us to say goodbye. These guys have also been working so hard on their respective projects and have been a credit to their clubs. I have had several conversations with members of both parties and it's been great to hear their opinions on football... and footballers!

It's a good job I don't take throw-ins as I have been warned by the Pompey fans that they will be giving me some friendly banter when we visit Fratton Park this coming season!

This morning we took the opportunity to visit an elephant orphanage and a giraffe sanctuary on the way to the airport. The elephants just seemed so strong and the two-month-old was loving the attention, as much as rolling around in the dirt.

The giraffes were majestic, such beautiful animals. Their patterns and colourings were amazing to see up close. We were given a handful of pellets each to feed to them which was another experience to add to the list from the trip.

I'm sat on the plane now writing this and reflecting on the week with Ben. We both agree that it has surpassed all of our expectations. Beccy advised us before we came out that the more you put into the trip, the more you'll get out of it - she couldn't have been more right.

We have left our hearts at Mama Kerry and Destiny. The fact that we feel we have been able to help, no matter how small, has given us all a great sense of pride.

I am proud to have been part of a Wycombe Wanderers group of volunteers that has left an impression on an area that is so under privileged.

The children have been so special in their innocence and happiness at the smallest of things. They have so little yet maintain positivity in everything they do.

I have already exchanged emails with Allan, one of the teachers at Mama Kerry. His story is probably the most inspirational story I have heard. It certainly struck a deep chord in me.

All of us like to think that we have worked hard for our careers and I am no different. Allan showed me that where there is hope, there is a way.

An unbelievable week and thank you for letting me share it with you. Two weeks until pre-season and I can't wait!


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