Volunteer Voice - My Second Week, by Sophie

My Second Week at Bushbells has been just as wonderful as my first.

We went on an excursion to Garoda Beach.  There we played a game called “Who gets to ride the camel”. Firstly, they had to negotiate the best price, then there was a running race and as a result Chris and John got to ride the camel. Very fair?! (Ed's note - they are two of the eldest and strongest children!)

All children the world over love a beach.
Beach day out with volunteer Sophie.

Next we all played football and then “stuck in the sand”. I tried to show the girls how to float in the seawater and introduced them to simple doggy paddle swimming. Mr Samuel came with us and he is an exceptional football player and coach.

Baraka and his most favourite thing in the world...

The next excitement of the week was a visit to the Snake Farm. I learnt some very important things there: 1. If you are bitten by a black or green mamba, stay calm or you could die. 2. If you are bitten by a cobra you have 15 minutes to live. What fun!! I told the snake man not to bother translating that last bit into swahili while the actual snake was present. Some of the children were brave enough to hold the python. Some ran away screaming.

On this same day as the snake farm visit, we were lucky enough to be accompanied by the Summers family who are visiting Bushbells this week, whilst also being on holiday too. We found out that the old Swahili town of Gede (now in ruins) was advanced and well organised with running water and even flushing toilets! Gedi is one of many medieval Swahili-Arab coastal settlements, and from radio-carbon dating, the original settlement of the site goes back to the eleventh or early twelfth century. We also managed to fit in a tour of the Butterfly Farm which was a fascinating and a very happy trip.


Visit to the butterfly farm.
Visit to Gede Ruins.

However, despite all these wonderful school trips this week, if you asked the children what was their favourite part - they'd all say DANCING!! The most important thing I learnt this week is that if you give some music speakers to a group of Kenyan teachers and children - they will NOT stop dancing!

After we perfected the song “What a Wonderful World” (well, almost) Baraka, Davis and Francis hijacked my phone and got the whole class dancing and the winner of the dance off was the lovely, very cheeky Francis.

On Friday, I was presented with a beautiful dance form the little ones. “Sophia is a good teacher’ they chanted. Then another ‘thank you’ song and dance for me and the Summers family, who they particularly thanked for their kind donations and the introduction of the Tomato Project, which continues to flourish.

Next week is only a short week and we are going to the eco-centre and hopefully we will gain some creative ideas regarding how to re-use and re-cycle products, and try and reduce the scourge that is plastic. Sadly, it's everywhere. However educating these children about the dangers and horrific impact of plastic in the oceans is one small positive step in the right direction.



  • Well done Sophie for throwing yourself so enthusiastically into your time at the school. Everyone was clearly benefiting from the experience!
    Playing, dancing and supporting the children was the highlight of our own trip, although seeing the fantastic returns they have made from the donation we gave, in terms of fruit crops, was inspirational.
    The Summers family.

    Steve Summers
  • What an inspiration from all concerned. Reading this makes you smile and be covered in goosbumbs at the same time. Keep up the amazing good work and most importantly enjoy the whole experience.

    Nicki Archer
  • Sounds like you have had a wonderful & inspiring time with these children who have gained such a lot from these trips.

    Sarah Newman
  • What a great experience Soph and what a lucky girl to share so much with the children especially their dancing! xxx


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