This is it!  I can’t believe I’m leaving for Kenya later today. 

I have spent so much time over the last few weeks preparing, packing, attending training, pretending to learn Swahili and worrying, that it doesn’t feel like the day is really here.  

I just spent the past week on pre-departure training in Toronto.  I’m pretty sure that I’ll enjoy squat toilets more than the 7:00 a.m. commute.  Who knew everyone sits in the same seats every day?  Seriously, though, the training was excellent and the group is great.  There are 12 of us between the ages of 18-30 going to Kenya, and when we get there we’ll be split into two smaller groups for the duration of our eight week project.  We’ll be working with partner organizations in two small communities outside Mombasa.  I’m also travelling for a month afterwards, much to my parents’ dismay.  How could I go all the way to Kenya and not do a safari?  This rationale seems to have worked so far!

So two overnight flights (Toronto-London and London-Nairobi), one short flight (Nairobi-Mombasa), not to mention nine hours to spend in London, before we arrive in Diani beach in Mombasa, for more training, this time with a tropical backdrop!

I’ll write more about the project once work actually begins, but essentially, we’re going overseas with an NGO called Youth Challenge International to work on social development-related issues, such as HIV/AIDS awareness, gender equality, youth skills building, literacy etc. 

And now for a little context behind the name of the blog, which means “good news” in Swahili.  Pretty clever, I know.  But I can’t even take credit.  It was Dave’s idea.  He’s my director so it’s his job to be smarter than me.

And many thanks to my awesome colleague Rob, who set up this blog for me.  I am a total luddite (i.e. I don’t even have facebook or MSN), but in the interest of staying in touch with everyone back home (and pretty much all over the world since my friends seem to be everywhere these days), I will try my very best to keep this up-to-date during my three month african adventure.  If nothing else, I’ll make people jealous, and that’s always a good goal.  Photos should also help.

Better go pack now.  I.  Really.  Hate.  Packing.  

The next time I write will be from Africa so check back soon!