After just four days here at Strive, it feels like this group has already known each other for a long time. When the 12 students arrived in vans on Saturday afternoon, I could tell that the group was a vibrant bunch. After knowing each other just during the commute from New York, they had already bonded so much. I could tell they were so excited to finally make it here to Iten, Kenya, a place a lot of them have been waiting to come to for a very long time.

Yesterday I asked the group how many of them had been to the continent of Africa in their lifetime and only 3 of the 12 raised their hands. It really is a special place. After being here for a week and a half already, I was used to most things already, but it has been so cool to see the group notice things that are so different than they are back home. They often won’t point it out vocally but instead have their own silent reflection in respect to the place itself.

Earlier today, we completed our first day of service work. We walked over to Kiptubus Primary school and got started on our mission to re-paint and place tiling in a classroom. Our humorous talks along the way to the school and throughout the day did not distract us from being hard at work when we needed to be. We started by scraping some of the old paint off all the walls then scrubbing the dirt off the walls with soapy rags. Now we will be able to start painting tomorrow. While we worked on that classroom, other group members spent time tutoring groups in algebra. Afterwards we all went outside and played a huge game of soccer with tons of the children once they got out of class. Everyone is looking forward to spending more time at the schools.