Last week a handful of Adventure Alternative/Moving Mountains staff touched down on UK soil. Friends and colleagues flew over from Kenya, Nepal and Russia to celebrate AA/MM founder Gavin’s wedding and to meet with clients, old and new.
Most of the crew have headed back to their homelands but Moving Mountains Kenya Chairman, Gilbert Njeru and AA Operational Manager and tour guide extraordinaire, Eva Muronji, are in the N.Ireland office working with us on the management of all our Kenyan projects and programmes.
It’s been a fast-paced and eventful week for these guys; not only was it Gilbert’s first time outside of Kenya, but also his first prolonged period of time in these cold temperatures, a sensation he has only felt on a five day climb of Mt. Kenya. I’ve been counting the times he has mentioned the cold so far today, in the space of 5 hours we’re up to 8 complaints (and I thought the office was relatively toasty). So I asked Gilbert to focus his energy on sharing the last week’s experiences with you. It must have worked; he’s been uncharacteristically quiet for the past hour, with only one mention about being cold.
Here’s Gili’s UK diary:
From the 23rd on arrival to UK we meet up with staff from Nepal at the airport and Gavin was there to meet us. We were collected by Tracey, one of the Adventure Alternative team who has been coming to Kenya for many years and made our way to Caerleon in south Wales.
That evening we met up with a group of students and their guardians from three South Wales Schools who will be coming out to Kenya next year and we had almost an hour with them to share about AA/MM Kenya. We also had one-on-one time with some of the parents and their kids. We were joined by Pasang Tendi Sherpa, Ang Chhongba Sherpa, Saraswoti Sherpa and Lhakpa Yangji Sherpa, AA staff members from Nepal.
The week was full of lots of meetings that will benefit the Charity, Moving Mountains, and the company, Adventure Alternative. We got an opportunity to meet up with a lot of the clients who have been out to Kenya before. At one very well organized MM fundraising/get together in Caerleon we brought together over 150 people. Gavin talked about MM Kenya, MM Nepal, MM Ireland and MM UK that was great for people who are new to the charity and looking forward to coming out next year, and their families.
We also had an opportunity to visit The University of Wales, Newport and we had talks on how Moving Mountains is helping a lot of people based on long term development and sustainability, with a goal and an objective of creating an independent community. Staff spoke in a number of lectures and tutorials to pass on their first hand experience of tourism and development work abroad.
Also while at the University of Wales,we had our final third party audit for compliance with BS8848 (The British Standard for overseas expeditions and fieldwork) and we did pass, that means we do all the work in AA Kenya and AA Nepal to UK standards and in a professional way!
We also had an opportunity to go to Bath and we visited King Edwards School where we were given a warm welcome and we had an opportunity to meet up again with students who have been out to Kenya before and their parents. Kelly had an opportunity to give his life story to a theatre full of 200 students which is inspiring and also shows the way Moving Mountains helps people and especially street kids and disadvantaged children to achieve their goals and become responsible people in the community. We also visited another school near Bath called Writhlington School and we hope to create a long term relationship with them and Moving Mountains.
Members of UK, Nepal and Kenya staff met with a group of past and future supporters of MM medical camp supporters at the University of Bristol on Wednesday afternoon.
- It is COLD
- Schools have great facilities and the children get a great education
- People look miserable, especially in London
- Did I mention, it is cold?!