I spent 3 weeks doing voluntourism at Nakuru Hope in 2013. I had previously met the founder and director, Susan Saleeba, when my nephew volunteered at the project in 2011 at just 18. I was keen to see it and also help wherever I could.
We arrived into Nairobi and were met and transferred to the Nairobi Club, an historic and beautiful building, to spend one night. The next morning, we made our way to Nakuru, visiting a giraffe refuge and also an elephant orphanage - well worth it! At the lookout at the Rift Valley, (a Wow moment) we were nearly there. Reaching the homestay, we were welcomed by Rosemary, our hostess. The homestay is comfortable and secure and close to the CBD.
After a day of orientation, we set off to the Learning Centre. Our lone man was seconded as a fixit guy and helped at the land, where our new school was to be built and also in the slums, mending doors,frames,locks, beds, etc. Susan was busy with admin and finalising the plans for the new building ( now completed)! Gail had nursing experience so she handled some minor, and not so minor, medical problems. We all visited families in the slums to check on them and perhaps to offer a food parcel, or to provide immediate food for kids who hadn't eaten for 2-3 days. We sorted lentils and beans and made chapattis for lunches, taught in the classroom, did some office work, and made ourselves useful. And of course spent time with the wonderful children - teaching, playing, singing, dancing, reading , cuddling. Joy!
The tourism part came into play at the weekends, as the school was closed then. We went to the Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru National Park ( the one with the pink flamingoes), the Equator, and souvenir hunting. Missed out on some things but there is always 'next time' and there will be a next time for me as I want to go back 2014 to see the progress and just to be there and do whatever again!