HIES Expands into Africa!

Well, we are testing the water by sending our Business Support Officer, Tabatha Strain.

There’s something about travelling to a place you’ve never experienced before that indefinitely changes a part of you. What better way to learn more about yourself than to push yourself outside your comfort zone, to acclimatise to an environment you never expected to.

This is what Tabatha Strain (Tabs), our Business Support Officer, is about to experience.

The 3rd of March 2019 will see her embarking on a four week adventure in Kenya as a volunteer working within the local community of Muhaka, a charming village in the Kwale region of Kenya.

What the trip involves

Tabatha has signed up with www.campsinternational com, whose trips offer the unique chance to live and work as part of the community, helping local adults and children improve their standard of living in a sustainable way and supporting various conservation efforts to safeguard the future of some pretty impressive wildlife including elephants. She will have a working week which will include physically building huts and working in schools teaching English. In turn, she will be taught Swahili, which is an exciting prospect as the only Swahili she knows is ‘Hakuma Matata’ which as we all know is from The Lion King. At the weekend it will be time to wind down, relax and explore the area.

How do you prepare for a volunteering trip to Africa?

A trip like this doesn’t happen overnight, it takes months in the planning Tabatha has been working hard saving to fund her dream trip, Tabatha has had to plan and book her own flights, obtain a Visa and book in all her vaccinations she will receive eight (8) injections overall before boarding her flight. When asked if Tabatha like injections, she responded “Absolutely NOT.” No pressure then.

The journey in itself is a real adventure, not just one simple flight but three different flights from Manchester to Amsterdam, a one hour stay until boarding the next flight to Nairobi. After a four hour stay in the airport then it’s off to Mombasa Airport to be met not only by representatives of Camp International but scorching 34 degree temperatures!

It’s all in the packing

When it comes to packing for such a trip, goodbye to the fancy designer suitcase hello to the less fashionable, more practicable backpack. Think more ‘I’m a Celebrity, get me out of here’ then ‘New York Fashion Week’ when it comes to the clothes and accessories Tabatha will be packing and you will realise this is not a relaxing holiday. She can still take a good 23kg allocation, but Tabatha intends to use some of this by taking out useful items for her soon to be new community, of pens, pencils and t-shirts.

Lifetime ambition

When asked why she wanted to do this, Tabatha simply said:

“It is a lifetime goal and I know the experience will change my life and hopefully others around me”.

She is aware that after the experience of this adventure, coming back to the comfort of home, back to her lifestyle, where luxuries we don’t even realise we have are surrounding us, will be a paradigm shifting culture shock to say the least. Tabatha has no doubt the humility and passion she will develop on this trip will last a lifetime.

Tabatha Strain

Safari Nzuri

We wish her ‘Safari Nzuri’ (a good trip in Swahili) and look forward to posting her updates and photographs of her adventure so stay tuned to follow her amazing trip of a lifetime!