JOIN FOR JOY SUMMERCAMP
By Teacher Florence
I wish to compliment whoever started the above program and saw it proper to give the chance to the most vulnerable children in Macheo Supported Schools.
Being one of the Head teachers of one of these many schools, I wish to express my gratitude for giving my school a second chance for these most vulnerable children to participate.
Among the many or uncountable things that I personally learnt was the importance of cooperation in every institution if success is expected. This I have been taught by the Join for Joy team members whom we found in the camp when we arrived in our venue at Naivasha.
We the teachers from Rubiru and the 25 children got a kindly warm welcome from the members we found waiting for us and we had already enjoyed the good packed lunch as we travelled. The beautiful songs and the jubilation made us all feel we were accepted, loved and it made us all relax even before we left the bus.
Personally I learnt how to welcome visitors and make them feel comfortable in every situation. The good and well coordinated team received us and gave us name tags which took us less than one hour to know the names of all members in the camp. This includes the bus drivers, cooks, tour guide and all Join for Joy friends. We all felt like one family before the day ended.
Jon for Joy program was well planned every day and I learnt the importance of good planning for all events. Each team member did their tasks very well and on time. This included the bus drivers and cooks which made it easier for the tour guide to plan his lessons well.
Like the children, I also spent a night in the tent for the first time. It was a good experience. The boat ride, the morning hill climbing reversed my 61 years of age to 16 years which I felt I was the day we left for home.
I did not know that being out for sports and play for both teachers and children could relax our minds that much. I never danced so much with such flexibility till we did it on the night before we left for home. The night camp fire stories kept us all listening to each other. I will never forget one of the teammembers getting to convince me watching the hippo at night near the fence. We enjoyed each and every moment of our stay at Naivasha.
Among the many things that the children say they experienced was togetherness of both white and black people. They said they were showered with love by the team members and learnt how important it is to love and to be loved. The children experienced freedom of choice than ever before. They talked of the many games they played, the endless stretch of water (the lake), the boat rides and the morning walks.
The children learnt to be self reliant and became responsible of their own bags, clothes and also making their own beds or sleeping tents unlike home where they do not care.
The greatest thing they talked about is the lessons they learnt from the tour guide on the sources of rivers and lakes. They learnt that with cooperation people can make life easier like it was for the wild animals living in the same bush where the giraffes, warthogs, buffaloes, wild beasts, hares, wild dogs, monkeys, all types of birds and the other animals not mentioned shared parks.
Some children talked about Thika super highway where some vehicles pass above and the others below with beautiful turns and roundabouts. Much talked about was the tall buildings and big towns not forgetting the never ending story of the Rift Valley which they only imagined when they learnt about in the social lessons at school.
The children did not fail to comment that the Join for Joy team were good to be with. Among the many jokes the children made and talked about was the group presentation by the members on the last night. The tallest team member who they called the giraffe only managed to put his body in his small tent but the legs slept outside the tent always; he was too tall to fit in. TJ grew flowers on his body and it looked very cute (the tattoos). The staffroom was at the fireplace where all members planned in the evening. Tents are better than houses cause they could see the top. If all the buffalo’s they saw were milked, then Naivasha would have a milk lake. The breakfast tasted so sweet because of the hippo milk brought by Nanning and Florence when they milked at night. The giraffe legs are so far apart that one can take a bicycle ride through them without the giraffe noticing. They wished their parents would agree to play with water balloons where everyone was made wet. They learnt very many new games. They became the first members of their families to own towels of their own. They wished they would be going for such holiday camps every school holiday. Making comments on the never ending journey from school to Naivasha.
They said the team members were the most Godly people on earth because they were caring, loving and have taught them those values. They got to the children level.
CROWNING IT ALL
I cannot tell it all in 1 paper as my experience and that of the children may not be put on pen and paper. It was too much to tell.
After the camp for both we teachers and children we were left with relaxed minds and the learning and teaching time was enjoyed after the schools opened.
I have also learnt the need of co-operaing with other people i.e. stakeholders for the betterment of the school standards.
I wish to end up by thanking all the sponsors of Join for Joy, Yvonne of Macheo, the whole group of Join for Joy and all those I met and stayed with for the four best days in my life.
I cannot forget the managers and planners of the tour and camp. God bless you all.
Thanking you all
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