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I  Look Back as the Street Kids Look Forward.

I think what was good about my trip to Kenya is that everyone involved gained something. For myself it was the experience of Africa and meeting people from a different continent, sampling a different culture and understanding that their priorities in life are equally important to mine but totally different.

Our priority might be to have a new pair of flash trainers or shoes. Footwear to many of these children is secondary to the need to eat or have a safe place to sleep at night.  Building a single room school will not accommodate all who need an education but it will go some way to helping street children to sample a better life.

To me, painting and decorating is not something you do for fun. But painting the school was. I enjoyed every stroke of the brush. There was so much laughter and fun as we encouraged each other with our own ideas of DIY.  And yes, I did knock a tin of paint over and some of the children’s hands ended up whiter than mine!! But the important thing is the school is up and running and will benefit hundreds of children over the years.

The Great Football Shirt Giveaway;  The excitement the shirts generated was unreal. 220 children with smiles that if could be measured would stretch from here to Nairobi. Mixed with shrieks of excitement that would have shattered glass, I had my 15 minutes of fame as they screamed and shouted my name.  Michael they yelled as the excitement reached its peak. It was when they started shouting Everton I knew they were at fever pitch. It may seem a frivolous comment but it is true and as I said an unreal experience. I can tell you the hairs on the back of my neck stood up, I felt so proud. As they say unless you were actually there it is impossible to re-capture the real excitement and joy that a football shirt gave to those children.  

Then there was the mountain. That taught me that if you really try hard it is amazing what you can achieve.  The pain has dulled but the memory is bright and I do have that warm sense of achievement that will always be in my mind.

  The Safari and Indian Ocean.

No excuses I had a ball, wild animals in their natural surroundings, the cheeky monkey that stole my drink, elephants, lions and a host of other wild life.

  The final week.

Mile after mile of white sparkling sand gently washed with the warm clear water of the Indian Ocean. Sailing, snorkelling, swimming and playing football till the sun went down. Duncan Ferguson scored many a goal, it was tough, but I survived!!

  So what is the conclusion?

 I can look back with the satisfaction that the children I worked with enjoyed their time with me. We learnt from each other and hopefully we are all better people for the experience.

 To those who sponsored the school thank you. Your gain is the satisfaction that your money was well spent and knowing that hundreds if not thousands of children will benefit from your generosity.

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