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A Special Place – Emma Bellmore

Now that I am a senior, I have a chance to look back at my experiences here at University of Jamestown, and one experience that has affected me greatly was my trip to Kenya with the University. It is a beautiful country filled with beautiful people, and they really made me feel like family while I was there. Many of them had almost nothing, but were still willing to give.

While we were there, we were able to see much of Kenya. We spent time visiting waterfalls, tea farms, coffee farms, climbing Mugi Hill on Mt. Kenya and of course going on a Safari. This trip was more than I could have ever asked for. All the people I met along my journey made it the best it could be.

I spent most of my time in a small village called Chogoria, and it was much busier than I expected. There were long stretches of vendors selling merchandise and crops lying along the road. Motorcyclists were driving wherever they wanted at all times, and many people were walking along the road carrying their crops on their back.

Much of my time was spent at Chogoria Primary Complex, and I was even blessed with the opportunity to teach a class! The room was cement from floor to ceiling, and my heart was pounding with excitement and fear as I stepped inside. 42 students were in this small room, and as I looked around I saw broken desks and chairs, even two students sitting on one seat together. The lighting was minimal; they relied mostly on natural sunlight.

I found myself focusing on what they had and needed to step back to look at what was really important, the students! As I looked at the class, my heart was warmed with the site of 42 smiling loving students surrounding me. I was welcomed with open arms and was truly blessed by each of them.

Kawira was the name of my cooperating teacher, and I really enjoyed my time working with her and learning about the Kenyan culture. As we were visiting, I told her that I used to be a Sunday school teacher and she asked me if I would teach the Bible lesson at assembly on Wednesday. Of course I said yes.

Yikes! I was definitely in over my head, but after some serious thinking I decided to teach the lesson on the Fiery Furnace. I taught students that, even through the smallest of issues, having faith can give us the courage to keep going and not give up. I was so honored to be given this unplanned opportunity.

The biggest blessing of all was that I was able to work with 5 young boys who were struggling in school. Their bright spirits warmed my heart each day I walked into the classroom. Although they may not have been able to write their names, or add two numbers, God still shined through them and left a huge impact me. As an Education major at UJ, my concentration is Special Education and one day I plan to further my degree in graduate school so I will be better able help young boys just like them.

All that I saw and did in Kenya will never be forgotten, and it will forever have a special place in my heart.

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Posted:October 23, 2015


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