Things never turn out the way you have planned – sometimes they turn out even better!
At the end of last summer, my friend and I booked our tickets to Kenya, planning to arrive in early September and staying to … Well, let’s say ’till the end of May. That was the way it went in our minds as we were making our plans. Nine months in Kenya to explore and grow, and simply live life. It felt good then, and it feels good now.
Over six months later, the trip is slowly coming to an end, this time around. I choose to say this time around, because it’s definitely not my last one here. The original point of this stay was for me to work at a school for disabled children, and stay with the principal of the school. In reality, those plans changed quickly as the work at the school was unstructured and not quite suited to what I wanted to do, and the accommodation was a little further out of town than expected. Instead, I gave Wendo and Dandelion a call, and of course they welcomed me with open arms to come and stay and work with them. All said and done, I settled into the guesthouse – also known as ‘The Stables’ – at the farm. Work started immediately and has never stopped since. There is always something to occupy yourself with at Dandelion, if so inclined.
During the following months since September, we started work with the Free Clinics. This is where we travel to marginalized areas and offer free health care, something that is very much appreciated and badly needed. When I was here in early 2014, I was given the opportunity to participate during the launching of Girls for Leaders, and last December I was here for the finish. It moved me to tears to witness how much our girls have grown during the year-long project. Not just when it comes to their grades in school, but also their self-esteem. To meet the 25 women groups we work with is something that also fills me with pride and joy. Also to follow their journeys and successes, and share the happiness with them.
In spite of, or perhaps because of the fact that I have been working with Dandelion Africa in both Kenya and Sweden for almost five years now, I am still hit by a sense of pride and joy to be part of this work. To be able to see with my own eyes, time and again, the incredible difference the work makes for people. It is powerful. It is also immensely important that we continue our struggle and carry on the work that we do, because it is needed. We still have a long way to go before we have a society that consists of only strong, confident, and powerful women and girls. Together we can fight to make the road slightly shorter and the journey faster. Kenya, my beloved Kenya, I will soon be back to the place where I left a piece of my heart.
From Sandra with love