Kenya trip changed lives of Vanier students, teachers 0
COLLINGWOOD - Students and teachers from Jean Vanier Catholic High School returned Saturday from their two-week-long journey to Kenya, where they helped build an all-girls' school.
"It's so hard to describe, so much happened," said Aisling Doolan, one of the students who was on the trip. "You can't condense two weeks."
"There was not a part in your day when you were bored - there was a wholeness," said Taylor Carriere, another student.
"We weren't Canadian, they weren't Kenyan - there were no barriers," said student Kent Blackman.
We were "highly welcome everywhere we went," said Mary Anne Giannini, one of the teachers who went on the trip.
The students say they are very grateful for the opportunity provided by the Me to We organization to be able to go on this trip, "to gather and have earned experience,
"We learned a lot more than (we would) through a textbook," said Mike Burgess, another student participant.
The students helped build an all-girls' school in the Oleleshwa community, and also carried 20-litre jerry cans filled with fresh water from the natural spring two kilometres away, spent an afternoon teaching and playing with the students of the Sikirar Primary School, and even participated in a mock Olympics.
"That's our project, and that's something we're giving to them," said Doolan.
"The purpose became so clear when we met some of the students from the other completed school," said Giannini.
The young women in Kenya have to work around the house, so they are usually not able to go to school - but for those who do have the opportunity, they are very appreciative.
"It's tough to see life here versus the life in Kenya," said Burgess.
"When we were eating these beautiful meals - we were very conscious about what everyone else was eating," said Giannini.
The trip had a huge impact on the students and teachers who had the opportunity to go.
"I feel different when I look into the mirror - I just feel different when I look at myself," said Doolan.
- Thanks to Jean Vanier teacher Kevin Gosselin for providing us with photos of the trip.