Dear Family and Friends,
This May I will be embarking on a grand travelling adventure. I am volunteering in Maasai, Kenya for two weeks at a local elementary school. Kenya has recently introduced free primary school education to the entire country, creating a shortage of teachers. That's where I'll come into play; I, along with other volunteers, will help these overwhelmed teachers with simple class tasks and give students desperately needed one-on-one attention. These schools are required by law to have at least one teacher per class but have found a way around the system by having up to fifty students in a single class. I am so unbelievably excited to be a part of giving these children an education that we often times take for granted here in the states.
I will be volunteering through a safe, secure, organization called International Volunteer HQ. They are headquartered in New Zealand but have staffed bases in just about every major country. I will be flying out on May 13th so I can arrive in time to have training on May 15th followed by two weeks of volunteering. Throughout my time in Maasai, I will be staying with a local family and will get the chance to eat traditional foods and experience their tribal customs. I am also hoping to have the opportunity at the end of my trip to do a short weekend safari. I'll then fly home around June 3rd; just in time to be a groomsman in Nick's wedding (June 14th)!
There are several websites that may interest you concerning my trip. First is the International Volunteer HQ homepage, http://www.volunteerhq.org/. Here you can explore all the available locations and programs they have to offer, specifically the Kenya Maasai program, http://www.volunteerhq.org/volunteer-in-kenya-maasai. You can see photos and testimonials from other volunteers that have been through the same program that I will be working for. IVHQ also provided me with a personal diary page where you can follow my adventures that I will be updating throughout my trip. They claim that I will have access to the internet and my blog daily but I find that hard to believe, but I will try my hardest to keep it updated, http://www.volunteerhq.org/volunteer-diaries/derek-durso And finally if you are at all able to donate to my trip you can donate securely online through this website or you can send it via mail to my address at school, MB#1[phone redacted] College Drive Erie, Pa 16563. If you can't donate, I completely understand and ask that you keep me in your prayers. Anything I receive over the exact cost of my fees and flight will go directly as a donation to the school I will be working at. I thank you from the bottom of my heart in advancefor your support, whether it is a monetary donation or prayerful thoughts. I truly appreciate it!
I hope you had a safe and joyful holiday season!
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