Friday, March 2, 2018 – “Wrap Up” by Susan Czyzo

We were touched by the many beautiful children we met and their stories.

We were blown away by their patience and perseverance from moment to moment.

And we were humbled by the love and care they provided for each other.

We take home with us their ability to live in the moment, to be grateful for what they have, and to genuinely appreciate the small things.

No matter how many trips I’ve been on, and regardless of the varied nature of those trips, it always amazes me how much more I learn about myself whenever I’m away from everyday comforts. Such as, how much room for improvement I have in becoming a kinder person. Or how to live more in the moment and be more grateful for all the blessings in my life.

And for a good portion of this personal growth, I have to thank the people I traveled with. An incredible team of individuals made up this year’s team, stepping away from their families and responsibilities for over two weeks to help those more in need alongside a group of strangers. So here I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the team that made the trip to Kenya this year.

Karen L, physiotherapist and trip leader – for patiently checking in with each one of us throughout the entire trip.

Keith, education director – for the words of inspiration, especially those provided without warning.

Joyce, retiree – for being the best “gopher” a team could ask for.

George, retiree – for being so creative with pipes and tools in general.

Barb, medical training coordinator – for her expertise up front, behind the scenes, and everywhere in between.

Paulette and Wayne, physicians and medical directors – for literally keeping us, or getting us back on, our feet.

Kelvin and Marcia – for their expertise in dentistry and speech therapy, respectively.

Jessica, student – for her love of music and for putting it on the back-burner while helping us run clinics.

Justin, videographer – for putting our memories on video in such a talented way.

Emily, occupational therapist – for her patience and desire to make a difference in the life of each child.

(Emily & Justin – for graciously accepting to be part of our Canadian family without complaints!)

Karen D, physiotherapist – for leaving her comfort zone to make a child’s life a bit easier.

Joanne, physiotherapist – for her bottomless energy and devotion to the children of Ndanai.

Loren, kinesiologist – for being the most genuinely polite and friendly “Canadian” of all of us.

The local team of teachers, therapists and administrators – for their daily dedication and love for the children.

Our drivers – for putting up with all of our questions, for expertly getting us around, and for still pointing things out in stressful driving conditions.

Eric & Brian, co-founders of ABW Canada – for making this trip a well-rounded and unforgettable experience, and for appreciating our commitment and dedication.

A big thank you to each member of the team for being so refreshingly genuine and caring; it’s been an honour to share the memories of this trip with you. We showed that we care about Kenya and its people, but let’s not forget that the kindness we share each and every day with those around us makes a difference to a better world too.