As you can see from the broad smiles on these lovely ladies, my first trip as a tour leader to Africa went incredibly well and exceeded my expectations. I was fortunate to have Roz Berry (far left), Director of the African Child Foundation, assist with our “Women Travel with a Purpose” Safari. Roz brought two duffel-bags full of T-shirts from the U.S., which we sorted, first-thing, before visiting the schools in the suburbs of Nairobi.
Our hotel in Nairobi was the perfect setting for the start of a Safari, as it’s located on the edge of Nairobi National park and offers an introduction to Kenya’s wildlife. All of us enjoyed getting to know one-another for breakfast on our first day. A few giraffes and a Cape Buffalo roamed in the park behind us.
Our schedule was jam-packed with activities, and I’m going to share several blog posts so you get a feel for what “Travel with a Purpose” entails. On our first morning, we visited Fanaka primary school and Mt. Olive boarding school, both run by Father Henry.
All of us were impressed with the level of reading and writing in the classroom. A couple of ladies commented on how the children have such beautiful penmanship, compared to their own children back in the U.S.
The children enjoyed dancing and singing and we could tell they had been rehearsing for days before we arrived.
After a full-day at both schools, we returned to our hotel, and had a delicious dinner at the Norfolk Hotel, where we met the four young University students, sponsored by the African Child Foundation. Two of them are studying law, one accounting, and one medical studies.
It’s been one year and five months since I started my new career in the Safari business. I decided to design theme-focused trips to Africa that would interest women. October 2018, was my first trip leading 11 women to Kenya. Most of them had never been to Africa and were somewhat frightened of what to expect, however, my first, “Travel with a Purpose” Safari, turned out to be the best bonding experience of 12 women. A camaraderie and intense friendship developed as together we experienced the wonderful children, the wildlife in the Masai Mara, and the warm-hearted Kenyans and their broad smiles.
Next week, I’ll share some of our adventures in the Masai Mara.
Judy Pavlik says
Dear sweet Sonia,
You were made for this work. Always calm and collected, even when things didn’t go according to plans. Personally I will never forget this trip of a lifetime and the women in this group. What an amazing adventure and I look forward to my next trip with you.
Sonia Marsh says
What a touching comment that means so much to me. I loved our group, and you were always smiling and making us laugh. I hope we can travel back to Africa in the future.
Angela Ackerman says
So glad it went well. Traveling in Africa is life-altering. You learn to feel gratitude in a way that will never leave you, and I think the desire to help others is something that returns with you stronger than it was when you arrived.
Sonia Marsh says
It was a fantastic experience and life-changing for many. A writers’ retreat next year. Maybe with you one day as well Angela, as a writing coach.