January 31

Today was our last day working. We worked with the Machakos students and met the deputy vice chancellor, who happened to be Jerry’s wife!

We got shown the campus by the students, who were so extroverted and convivial. They showed us trees that they were planning on planting and how they worked closely with the community. They were so enthusiastic about us being there that I wish we had more time with them.

After that, we went to the community in Machakos to meet the community members and listen to speeches done by government officials and community members. Some women also sang which was beautiful. One woman also demonstrated some of their tools and how they used to use them, which many people thought was hilarious; loads of people were doubled over laughing. I don’t know why, but their joy was still contagious.

It was beautiful and overwhelming to be that welcomed into such a different culture. I was so appreciative that they wanted to share with me about how their lives have been impacted by serious issues.

After lunch, we went to speak with Machakos staff and the county council about issues we heard about. It felt so good to voice the issues we were told about and stand up for those we were partnering with and give them all the credit they deserve. I felt so proud of everyone. We all spoke, we stood up for all the reasons on why we came and topics we believe in. It was the perfect way to end the trip.

I will always be grateful for these people and their support. It’s amazing to know I have lifelong friends now.

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