On the Road Opinions

Editor shares personal Kenyan immersion trip experience

By P. Erik Meyer ’14
THE ROUNDUP 

Halfway around the world, with a nearly half day time difference is the Massai Mara, located in rural Kenya, Africa.

The Massai Mara is a preserve in the south of Kenya, and it is where a select group of Brophy students travel every summer to assist the Me to We foundation in achieving their goal of providing clean water and education to the children and families of Kenya.

The two week long trip begins with 30 hours of travel.

Following three plane flights and a bus ride, Brophy students arrive at the Me to We compound in Nairobi, Kenya.

After a warm meal and fresh sheets to sleep between, the traveling continues the next day with a bus ride to the Massai Mara.

After about six hours of traveling on roads that vacillate between being paved and unpaved,  and deeply rutted rocky roads, the group arrives at the Me to We Center in the Massai Mara.

There the students are assigned tents where they and four to five bunkmates will sleep for the next week to 10 days.

After another meal and sleep, the students begin working on construction of the school the next day.

Throughout the trip, the students are led by two faculty members, two Me to We facilitators and one to two Massai Warriors.

Almost every day the group is on the Massai Mara, they work on constructing the school.

The manual labor is tiring and consists of mixing cement by hand, pouring cement, laying gravel, laying stones, sledgehammering and mortaring.

In between the construction work, students experience the lives of local residents by taking side trips.

One trip, called the “water walk,” consists of carrying heavy jugs of water from a nearby river to the houses of women of the local village.

Students also learn about the ways Kenyans are beginning to rely on sustainable forms of income by beading with the local women and learning wood crafting.

The trip is not all work though.

Students have plenty of time to intermingle with the students by playing soccer and other games, attending a Kenyan Mass and going on an all-day Safari.

 

Editor’s Note: Sports editor P. Erik Meyer participated in the Kenya Immersion Trip during the summer of 2012.