Day 5: A zip line and a visit to an orphanageby kenya on Jun. 10, 2013, under Life
June 8, 2013
By Finian Lowery, St. Gregory Class of ‘14
On this relaxing, somewhat foggy and warm Sunday morning, our group used the knowledge we gained on the ropes course at St. Gregory in Tucson.
The ropes course at Batian’s View is constructed using natural growing trees rather than the bland telephone poles we are used to at St. Gregory. These are not just ordinary trees, they are enormous and seem to reach up to the sky. The tree branches are also incorporated into the course, sometimes giving you a much-needed handhold when the going gets tough.
Most of the group from St. Gregory is a part of the Senior Peer Leader program, a group of seniors who are trained to be challenge-course facilitators, and then lead programs for the younger St. Gregory students. Our entire group enjoyed “swinging” through the trees and flying down the zip line.
After spending our morning bonding and enjoying the fresh air, we began our trek to Lipela Orphanage.
The Lipela Orphanage is a three-mile walk from Batian’s View. On the walk I befriended Joseph, a 10-year-old boy who attends Irigithathi Primary School where I am teaching. He, like most Kenyan children that we encounter, was very friendly and outgoing, accompanying our group all the way to the orphanage.
Lipela Orphanage lies on a sizable plot of land, and they are largely self-sustaining, with several sheep, many chickens, and a large field of crops. Some children at the orphanage spoke little to no English, making communication difficult. Despite the language barrier, several hours were spent playing Frisbee and soccer, drawing with sidewalk chalk, and running around the playground.
It was very fulfilling to see the joy that this novel interaction brought to the children, and was quite enjoyable for everyone in the group. The unbreakable spirit of the children that we are encountering is remarkable, as they find joy in all parts of life, from a walk with some new friends to learning to play Frisbee.
Kenya continues to amaze and inspire, and has been a remarkable and unforgettable experience so far. I look forward to what the future has in store for us.