Since the day I had decided to visit Kenya and participate in the agriculture program, I was very excited and this feeling grew with each day. It was in a good way – with excitement, although I did not really know what to expect. I only knew that I might need some time for it to feel like home – but I was wrong. I felt at home from the first minute, when Kelly hugged me as a welcome at the airport in Nairobi and so did all the other girls when we arrived at the accommodation.
The following day Emmah introduced me to Swahili, the village and her farm – my place to work. Compared to an Austrian farm, Emmah’s is small, but therefore everything is done by hand and, most importantly everything is done with love. Luckily the season for picking coffee had started while i was staying in Kenya, so I was able to follow the process from the tree to the bean. I knew that this would be a hard job, but what I could experience within those days is beyond imagination. After the farmers picked the beans they brought the sorted coffee cherries to the factory, the employees wash, spread them to dry and sort kilos of coffee by hand for only 2$ a day! Moreover, due to the long chain of progress, there remains almost no money for the farmers. They cannot even afford to buy a product which has been grown in their own fields since it is sold so expensive – I was shocked when Emmah told me this.
Another day, we provided food for kids who live in the streets in the nearby town of Thika. Usually Ester, the girl we assisted, is doing this alone – spending her own money and time, hardly have I seen such a spirit of charity like this in Austria.
Nonetheless all these hard working people never lose their smile and kindness. One day it’s the shining eyes of the kids in the daycare center next door, the other day it’s the little chat with the locals and the smile on their face. When Emmah is telling them about our day at the farm, what shows that you are more than welcome in Kenya. One day a girl told me “we might not have money, but we have happiness” and you can really be part of this happiness. All in all, I think that not only the program itself, but also all the background information and stories The local team members provide, let you start re-considering your needs and raises awareness within an amazing experience.
Last but not least, there is only one thing left to say that goes out directly to the women of The in Kirwara: THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING! You will remain in my heart and every sip of coffee will remind me of you – until we meet again.
PS: If you are thinking of weight loss during your stay in Kenya, you are totally wrong – Martha and Esters food is delicious! ?