5 students from Lui Che Woo College led by resident fellow Dr. Caixia CHU went to Kenya for service-learning from 19 June to 2 July. The purpose of the trip was to provide Chinese teaching in an education center located at a slum called Ganita Kawangware and to learn the national reservation project by visiting Masai Mara National Reserve.

Students had to take 3 local buses which is called Matatu and walk 3 times to reach the education center every day. During the trip, they had to sit with locals in a very packed bus and walk on the streets in the slum. Students felt much stressed the first day but gradually they started to feel the hospitality of the locals and get relaxed. It was a good chance to experience the local life.

Kenya is one of the countries that joined the “Belt and the Road” initiative. Chinese have become a community in Kenya and they are the top 1 tourists in Kenya. People in Kenya are very interested in learning Chinese. Students therefore taught Chinese to about 110 students in the center. Although only stayed for a very short period of time, students felt that local students were very eager to learn and they were talented in language.

The local Masai Dan took us to a trip to the Masai village. Students learned the Masai culture and their way of living. The group also visited the national reserve and observed many kinds of animals living in nature. Students realized that it is the best to protect the animals in natural environment.

The team lived in the Marafiki volunteer house with many other volunteers from all over the world. It was a great experience living and learning with them together. Student Gao said she discovered that there are many possibilities in lives and she gets a clearer idea of what to do in the future.

Overall, it was a very successful trip. Apart from learning team work skills and interpersonal skills, students also engaged in different cultures in Kenya. The stereotype about Africa was challenged during this trip. Different from what many people thought, Kenya was actually cooler than Macau in this season, it is not easy to get burned and it is not that dangerous to stay in the country.

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Students teaching Chinese in the education center at the slum

Students teaching Chinese in the education center at the slum Ganita in Kenya

Visiting the Masai Mara National Reserve