2018 January: A Ready Team

The January 2018 team is all well-traveled folks with lots of experience adjusting to cultures and that made it an easy trip to lead. Here we are with our safari driver, Carlos.  Left to right:  Anna, Cheryl, Cassidy, Kerry, and Rosalina with Ryan behind her. During our 2 days in the Masai Mara, we saw … Continued

2017 June: The 2 or More Principle?

It was our final day in the village in Kenya and after a few hours of journaling and sharing, all 28 of us boarded the big bus for the drive back to Nairobi Airport for our long flights home.   It’s about 250 miles on tarmac but always seems to take all day somehow. We left … Continued

June 2017 — It’s going to be a BIG trip!

We are just beginning our planning for the trip in June but the team is now formed…and it is 31!!! That’s about twice the size of any prior team!   It includes 12 teenagers, 9 family groups plus 5 individuals.   It involves 8 or 9 different itineraries with some going early to Europe, some … Continued

2017 June: A Family Trip

This June trip is made up of 3 family groups plus a number of singles none of whom have been on this trip before.   We leave on June 22 and as usual will spend 2 days on safari in the Masai Mara and then 5 full days at Achungo with our beloved children.

2015 Trip: Ready to Launch

We are less than 10 days away from our departure for Kenya for this June trip.   There are 13 of us going and it is the first time for everyone (except Monte, of course). In our picture, from left to right: Susan and Sam, Jeremy and Kylie, Nick (behind) and Cyndi, Monte (behind), Diane, Merit … Continued

2014 October Trip: Two New Ambassadors

In October 2014, Jake (9) and Luke (7) Smith visited Achungo along with their parents, Nate and Jen.  They had already involved the students at their school, Oak Knoll in Menlo Park.  And they knew they’d have stories to tell on their return, but no one expected this family to take the story of Achungo … Continued

2014 June: A Really Big Team

The June 2014 trip has turned out to be the largest of our team trips by far: 17 total by the time we got to the Achungo Children’s Center in very rural Rodi-Kopany, Kenya. (In the above picture:  far back left to right: Rachel and Cindy Marty, Doug Tillion, Jordan Troester.  Front left to right:  … Continued

2013 June: Gathering the Team

Our team for the June 2013 trip to Achungo rather evolved over time.  Bonnie and Robin Smith (no, they are not sisters…just friends) actually completed applications and deposits by November — that’s enthusiasm!  By the March application deadline, they were joined by 9 others:  co-leaders, Monte and Kathy Fisher,  Charley Hawkins and his grandson, Jack … Continued

2012 June Trip: It’s All About The Teaching!

Our team of 11 left SFO on June 13 and after our 2-day safari in the Masai Mara, spent a full 5 days at the Achungo Children’s Centre (that’s how we spell it in ex-British colonies!).  What was most remarkable on this trip for me was that every single teacher from our 2 preschool classes … Continued

2011 June Trip: Debrief and Go — Thursday

This morning is our last at the Tausi Hotel, our last in Rodi Kopany, we are leaving Achungo today.  But this is a day of important work — after breakfast we spent about 3 hours in a debrief process, reflecting on our experiences and what they mean in our lives. We gather in the “lounge” … Continued

2011 June Trip: How Can We Possibly Leave? — Day 10 (Wednesday)

Several team members had talked about the value of giving the staff a way to organize all the stuff we’d brought rather than just leave piles of new things.  Julia M had recounted her father’s adage that whatever you do you always have to take care of the staff.  So Julia, the energizer bunny, has … Continued

2011 June Trip: Now We’re Teachers! — Day 9 (Tuesday)

While most of the team spend the day in classes with the teachers and children, reading, teaching, doing games, etc. (and someone else will have to fill in that detail….), Chris and Monte spend the day shopping with Michael.  We start at the Rodi lumber yard shopping for materials to build new desks.  Chris has … Continued

2011 June Trip: It’s a Suney Day at Achungo! — Day 8 (Monday)

Today is our first planned-out day to work with the children and teachers.  Suney began our trip quietly expressing the hope that she might somehow be helpful.  Today, she proves that to be the understatement of the year.  Her experience as a 6th Grade teacher for several years and apparently, helping with VBS (Vacation Bible … Continued

2011 June Trip: A Time for Fellowship — Day 7 (Sunday)

Today Michael has invited us to his home church (Kager Vision Center) and then to his home (for lunch) and he has contracted a matatu for our travel.  The matatus are modified minivans used as taxis that seat 10 with room for 14 passengers (yes, you read that right).  That’s including 2 or 3 sharing … Continued

2011 June Trip: “We Welcome You to Achungo” — Day 6 (Saturday)

Last night Chris shared about how the 12 Steps provide a regimen for healing through surrender to God (Higher Power) and through the processes of confession and of making amends with those we’ve harmed (or sometimes, those who’ve harmed us).  It was a very powerful teaching for us all. This morning we talk about the … Continued

2011 June Trip: Still More Zebras? — Day 4 (Thursday)

Today is our full day in the Masai Mara and it does not disappoint.  A day of dueling telephotos and herds of safari vans, but a day of  what seems like phenomenal luck as we see an incredible show of this very exotic wildlife. We find what must be the same pride and park right … Continued

2011 June Trip: Hitting the Road for Masai Mara: Day 3 (Wednesday)

It’s a miracle!  We all made it to Nairobi without delays and we are finally together!  Ron had arrived a day early and met us in the airport.  Susan’s flight made it with only a slight delay.  At last we are together and on our way to a Safari (a SAFARI!). It takes us about … Continued

2011 June Trip: In-Flight: Days 1 and 2 in transit to Nairobi

From all across America we gather.   To be more precise, we have teams leaving from San Francisco and from Baltimore and the first time we would ever meet them was to be at Heathrow on our way to Nairobi, and the first time the entire team would be together was not to be until Nairobi … Continued

2011 June Trip: The Pre-Trip Prep

For months before our trip, our team took opportunities to get together to study and prepare.  Let’s just say that in some ways these were virtual meetings since 3 teammates were on the East Coast (Julia, Meg and Clare) and one was in SoCal at school until a few weeks before the trip (Ana). But … Continued