My time volunteering
I was a volunteer at the Kenya Polytechnic, Nairobi in 1962-3. It was quite an impressive establishment, and I taught engineering subjects and maths to City&Guils technicians. Five if us lads shared a 2 bedroomed flat in Nairobi, bit of a squeeze. We had a "house boy" who cooked and cleaned for us. Michael was great except when he once got drunk and spent the night at the police station. My mate Fred and I took our scout uniforms and helped with the local scouts. Scouting in Kenya was the tops, we saw BP's grave in Nyeri, his residence Paxtu at the Outspan hotel. Back to teaching which I really enjoyed. Three of us VSOs were at the Poly. I was brought down to earth one day when teaching; I smelt woodsmoke and realised that several of the students ate meals cooked over wood fires. We climbed Kilimanjaro, though I didn't quite get to the top as my mate Fred had altitude sickness so we stayed together. We also climbed Mt Kenya (to point Lanana, too dangerous to try the summit) crossed a glacier. We saw big game on safari, went to the coast for Christmas and camped near the beach. I hope the Ploy students benefited from us volunteers. Thank you VSO.
The impact of my placement
At the Kenya Polytechnic I hope the students and the staff built on our enthusiasm. I think the Scouts benefited too
My unforgettable moments
unforgettable moments: the beauty of Africa. Also when returning from our Kili trip we got a lift from Liotokitok to the main road, across Amboseli game park, about 100 miles. After 25 miles our driver had run out of repair patches for his bald tyres. We were just wondering what to do when a bus appeared on the horizon, coming toward us. We couldn't believe it and apparently it only ran once a week, on a Tuesday. It was Tuesday. We paid our driver and jumped aboard meeting several Masai who had deposited their spears on the roof rack. We got to the main road, hitched a lift on the back of a lorry and got back to Nairobi at 3am.
The impact my placement has had on me
Confidence, the fun of meeting people. Since then I have become
a senior steward at our local church, taught in colleges, and Sunday schools I've also spoken about VSO and other topics to local groups. I feel I have become a worthwhile member of our local community. This year I am directing our local pantomime, having been in the dramatic society for 30 years now.
Heille Selassie Avenue, Nairobi