KENYA DETAILED ITINERARY
Steaming pots of chai, flavorful curries, colorful khangas and the calls of vendors welcome you to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. Spend these first days resting, getting to know your fellow interns and your Global Routes in-country director, learning basic Swahili, visiting a giraffe rehabilitation center, and acclimating to life in Kenya. Next, you travel westerly through the Great Rift Valley to climb the dormant volcano Mount Longonot, stroll through Hell’s Gate National Park on a one-of-a-kind walking safari, and explore the shores of Lake Nakuru where you can see baboons, Cape buffalo, rhinos, zebras, giraffe, and thousands of pink flamingoes.
This exciting start to your journey provides the backdrop for an orientation designed to prepare you for all aspects of your semester. Together with your group, participate in lectures, discussions, and activities designed to deepen your understanding of the culture, customs and life of rural Kenya. Engage in teacher training sessions that include lesson planning, teaching techniques, approaches to classroom management, and observations in a local school. Begin conversations about your ideas for Independent Projects and strategies for ensuring their viability and sustainability in the community.
TEACHING & INDEPENDENT PROJECTS (6-10 WEEKS)
Continue your Kenyan immersion experience with one fellow intern as you move together into a host community outside Kakamega, a city in Kenya’s lush western highlands, the residence of your in-country director, and the hub for your program. Live with your own host family and teach at a local school where, depending upon your skills and interests and the school’s needs, you may teach math, English, science, or social ethics. In your downtime, spend an afternoon conversing with the village chief, making ugali with your host mother, drinking a chai in the local duka, or gathering water from the community well. This is an unparalleled opportunity to become truly immersed in a family and community.
After beginning your teaching responsibilities, your in-country director guides you through ideas, assessments, and proposals for possible independent projects of your own design. Volunteer at a local health clinic, build a playground, start an environmental initiative, paint a mural, or run an after-school sports or arts camp. Your in-country director visits you weekly to provide ideas, strategies and ongoing support for your experience. Alternating weekends spent as a group are great opportunities to reconnect with your fellow interns, cook dinner, share stories, or visit one another in your host communities. You may also visit nearby sites of interest such as the Kakamega Rainforest, the perfect place for hiking through Kenya’s last remnant of the ancient Guineo-Congolian rainforest that once spanned the continent.
Mid-Program Break: The mid-program break is a well-timed opportunity for reflection, rejuvenation and renewed goal-setting. For four days, your group heads to Serengeti plains of the Masai Mara, one of the premier wildlife parks of the world and the gateway to the home of the Masai, an indigenous and semi-nomadic African tribe. As you watch the sun rise and set during the faintly lit hours of dawn and dusk, listen for the sounds of hyenas, baboons, and birds of the savannah. On safari, keep your eye out for elephant, giraffe, lion, hippo, antelope, and many other species unique to the Serengeti.
Final Travel, Zanzibar, Tanzania: Spend your final days together as a group in Zanzibar, an important port along East Africa’s 19th century slave trading route and the birthplace of Swahili, the language created specifically for trade between the Bantu tribes of the archipelago and Arabian traders. Explore the ornate architecture and mysterious cobbled-alleyways of Stone Town and tour a working spice plantation. Relax on remote sandy beaches, snorkel, and sail by dhow, a traditional wooden fishing boat. In this spectacular setting, you and your group begin the important process of debriefing your contributions and discoveries, evaluating the program, and preparing to come home.