I just got back from 3 amazing weeks in Kenya. As a quick overview, I was invited to help judge and teach at the first ever East Africa Jump Rope Tournament. To sum it up, it was an awesome experience. I spent time working with quite a few disadvantaged (as we would call them in the PC countries) kids, though if you asked them, they’re just kids. It was incredible to watch them work harder, and longer, than almost any kid I’ve worked with…plus they did it without shoes on half the time. Seriously, these kids did not stop. We would spend 8-10 hours teaching, then after dinner, they would be right back at it, working on skills, coming up with new stuff and challenging us with ideas they came up with. The latter arrangement led to a few long evenings where they would come up with some crazy trick in their head, but weren’t quite at the ability level yet to try…but they wanted to see me, or one of the other guys/gals, do it. Always up for a challenge, I would give it a go. However, there are moments in life that really remind you that you’re not 15 anymore and I had one. In fact, I had a few.
Every night, and right here…I would really love to say I marched or floated, man I would even take pranced for an adjective, but I must say that I lumbered, to bed. I would half-heartedly shower then collapse onto my twin mattress. The next morning, the kids were right back at it ready to learn. Ahhhh, youth has it’s advantages. I have learned that we all have a choice in the way we approach everything. I was tired and my legs hurt, but there was no way I was going to mope around and give these kids a bad experience. If you knew what you were looking for, every instructor felt the same, but we were there to teach these kids how to jump, and so we did. Hour after hour, we worked and we taught and those kids ate it up. The way they would work and learn was such an inspiration, especially when we headed to Nairobi and visited one of the groups in Kibera. I’ll give some more details on our time there in a different post, but suffice it to say, the conditions were bad, but the kids still jumped.
Outside of all the jumping we did, I also had some great opportunities to see what makes Kenya a standout country. Beatiful scenery, amazing wildlife, and Nakumatt. We had a running joke that we would visit every one in Nairobi, and we almost did. Nakumatt is like Wal-mart, just…different. Depending on which one you visited, it was a simple grocery store, or it had a movie theater and became a 4 story mall, yet it was still Nakumatt. We spent much time there as they were the place with the internet cafe and restaurant with a tv (for watching the World Cup of course…can’t miss that while in Africa).
I had a great trip and am now frantically getting ready for all that is going to happen in the next 4 weeks. Over the next couple weeks I will be posting a few articles on some stuff I experienced over there, as well as some updates on the biggest video project I’ve ever undertaken. It will be epic.