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Sep 7, 2016 4 Min Read

Kijani Volunteering Experience, Part 2

Laughter, happiness, and love are what I can recollect about Kijani, 3 months down the memory lane and it feels like yesterday, it’s funny how time really flies. My first time locating the office wasn’t easy, not because it was far but the leafy suburb of Karen environment is not something I am used to. No pun intended by the way .All the corners of the road looked the same to me. The lush green and quite environs of Kijani’s office is a site and feeling to behold .A small safe haven away from the hustle and bustle of the city and matatus and all that drama that comes with it.

“Guys what do you think about this,” David chairs a brainstorming session.
“Guys what do you think about this,” David chairs a brainstorming session.

There’s something unique when young people work together. Crazy, funny and hardworking are the three magic words I can use to describe my co-workers. Beating deadlines for grants and research proposals was the order of the day but a couple of times we could afford to sit down over a cup of tea and have a good laugh.

A quirky medium sized room on your right from the main entrance of the office hosts these two funny guys, David and Erick. David is this kind of guy the moment he’s at the gate you will know he’s around. He’s got this humongous voice and very tall as well (the NBA height) and he’s really passionate about community development. Erick on the other hand is this quite chilled out guy passionate and very knowledgeable about forestry .One of the most sensible people in the office, on the other hand the moment he decides to speak everyone bursts into laughter. He’s a comedian by birth, that’s all I can say.

A learning session about conservation agriculture at A Rocha Kenya
A learning session about conservation agriculture at A Rocha Kenya

Then there’s Johanna, a volunteer from Germany, apart from me, no one at the office gets her second name right. David calls her Cookies while Erick calls her Coocoo! Jeez! (Shaking my head). She’s the kind of lady who keeps everyone on toes especially when writing and submitting grants by making sure we work within the time frame assigned. With her around we don’t need a spelling and grammar icon in our laptops. Very careful on typos and sentence structures.

David the funny Guy who makes everyone happy at all time
David the funny Guy who makes everyone happy at all time

And not forgetting myself, working on budgets and work plans. The 3 months volunteering in Kijani has been a blessing in disguise .The skills I have gained in writing grant proposals, reports and blogs and building friendships and networks is something that no one can take away from me. For the young people out there interested in volunteering on environmental conservation, Kijani is the place to be.

Mercy Grace Amboka — Kenyan Volunteer

Read Part 1 about Johanna’s experience here.

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