“Even though we were on the other side of the world and completely out of our comfort zones—sleeping in tents, with no running water or electricity, surrounded by unfamiliar faces and languages—it still felt like home. The hospitality of the Masai people was amazing. They were so warm and welcoming, and they treated us like sisters and brothers. We saw many incredible sights and enjoyed countless memorable experiences, but it is the people we will truly remember, and it is those connections that we hope to continue through future trips.” Tiffany Townsend, Assistant Director of Development
Both Red Gables and Devon Farms campuses were privileged to have very special guest visit this week, Ole Petenya Yusuf Shani. Shani, a Masai warrior, and partner of World Leadership School was on campus to share some of his stories about growing up as a Masai as well as highlight the Service Learning trips that EHS students take every summer to his Masai village Shompole, 124 miles outside of Nairobi.
The Lower School students were thrilled to hear his stories of growing up as a Masai Warrior, being trained to hunt, farm and herd animals. Shani shared with the students what education looked like growing up in a community where the only mode of transportation was to walk. That meant walking over 12 miles to get to school every day! Making the decision to pursue education over being a warrior was a very difficult one for Shani. Culturally, the Masai find great significance in the role of a warrior, however, Shani’s parents pushed him to stay in school. After graduating from college and being exposed to the hardships a drought was bringing to his village, Shani decided to return and establish ways to make his village prosper once again… which in turn would provide jobs and food for his Masai people.
Every summer, a group of EHS students and faculty travel to Kenya to work along side Shani in their efforts to improve the education opportunities in his village. Projects have included begining work on a dining hall, installing electricity for the first time, digging trenches, remodeling classrooms, teaching sessions in the school, and much more!”Going on a service trip to Africa truly puts your life into perspective and lets you appreciate every little thing we have in our lives” says Ensworth student Rebecca Hanai. “I have learned that life isn’t about money or the materialistic things. It’s about love, family, happiness and giving back to the community.” Lauren Wyatt, HS English teacher said, “This summer trip to Kenya is not aid or a handout, but a partnership as the local Community provides half of all the funds necessary for the projects. The county treasurer remarked that our partnership has provided them with hope. As Ensworth students embark on summer trips to Belize, Peru and Kenya, they learn about global issues, serve local communities, and discover the incredible hope that comes from joining hands in a common dream.”
Sign-ups for the EHS Summer Trips start on November 13th. For more information contact Roc Batten. Definitely an opportunity that your student doesn’t want to miss!