After a month of long work hours, many visitors, travel, and two rounds of African stomach, I’ve finally had some normalcy in my life in Nairobi. It has been nice to cook dinner with my housemates, sleep 8 hours a night and get back to a daily schedule that includes normal work hours and exercise.
Though it was a bit exhausting, August was full of fun experiences and great work. After saying goodbye to our teacher development team from DC, I welcomed two more friends from DC. Marcie and Amy helped out in Project Biashara, experienced all they possibly could in Nairobi then we drove a bumpy 5 hours to Masai Mara for safari. Here are a few photos from our trip to the Mara.
After Marcie and Amy left to return to the states, I packed my bags for a week of travel in Ethiopia. New Hope Initiative is supporting the work of Tammy and Dwayne Wright in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia. The Wrights are partnering with local Christians to provide education in the small community of Debre Zeit. Learn more about New Hope Ethiopia and the Jorgo Academy here. Also, check out the Wright’s ministry connection site here.
As the Wrights and their local partners work to improve the school and provide a better education for the children there, they asked me to lead a 3 day workshop with their teachers on leadership development and team building. We defined leadership outside of the cultural context and talked about how teachers are leaders in their classrooms and in the community. In addition, the teachers spent some time identifying their personal leadership style and values. They also participated in team building activities and succeeded in working together to flip over a parachute while all of them were standing on it!
Here are the teachers of Jorgo Academy after completing New Hope Initiative’s Leadership Academy.
After spending 4 days in Debra Zeit, I traveled to Addis Ababa and held a leadership training for the Wrights local partners who own several businesses in Addis. The training included the management team of a local diagnostic center. It was fun to help the team apply leadership principles to a for-profit business. Most of my experience has been training ministry and non-profit leaders, so this was a challenge for me that turned out to be quite fun!
My trip to Ethiopia was very fulfilling professionally, but I also found the country to be beautiful and the Wrights to be gracious hosts (especially after I got sick!).
August closed out with a visit from my friend Emily from DC. What a blessing to have this sweet friend in Africa. I put Emily to work in some of our Kibera projects and then we went on vacation in Zanzibar! Zanzibar is amazing. The culture there is rich and the beaches beautiful. Not to mention, the weather is almost perfect. Emily and I spend some time sitting on the beach at a resort then exploring Stone Town. I only wish we could have stayed longer!
Before heading off to Zanzi, we stopped by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to visit orphaned elephants. I was highly impressed with the Trust’s work to protect and preserve Africa’s wildlife particularly endangered species such as elephants and Black Rhinos. Check out their site here. You may even want to adopt an elephant!