I have always aspired to work with the less privileged in society. I get a lot of inspiration from working with the beneficiaries and staff members.
I was very much excited to be coming on the walk. I always look forward to learning something new. In each and every project there are good practices, and I was able to learn so many new things to take back to Nairobi to make our project stronger.
It is so beautiful in Ecuador, and walking with these people and seeing how they live was a great experience for me. I grew up in a small village in Kenya and helped my father with our coffee plants from a very young age. We would wake up early to harvest coffee. I know the challenges that families living in the farming communities in Ecuador face.
There is so much potential in these families. It was a big lesson for me to see their energy and see how important they are in this movement. The sponsored members and their families helped us get through the miles by walking with us. It showed me how interdependent our mission is and that our community is growing even stronger each day with this walk.
On the walk, I started out well, but along the way things got very tough. I was only able to make it 20 kilometers out of the 35 kilometers my first day. It is a lesson, though, to see the families that came out to walk with us cover these distances, and we should not take their strength for granted.
It is an inspiration that these families are able to overcome so much. We just need to help them along their path. It is not easy work helping these families, and the walk is a symbol of this effort.
The walk is very challenging. We have to cover long distances. The pain in our legs and muscles can be translated to the pain these families experience. But like them, we just have to keep going and keep walking with them.
One of my favorite parts of the walk was interacting with the families. Singing and dancing is very integrated into society in Africa. Many of the youth walking with us were shy at first, but they were very eager to learn from me when I started a song or dance. And when you are having fun, the kilometers go by much faster.
Getting to spend time with Bob Hentzen (CFCA president and co-founder) on the walk was also a great experience. Bob is superhuman. Every time you are around Bob you get inspiration. When you see somebody that age (74) walking all that distance, and here I am a young energetic person who couldnít walk the whole way for just one week. He is a great example of how we can focus our energy.
CFCAís invitation for us to join the walk to help our brothers and sisters in South America is a good message. It was amazing to learn from one another and spend time with the people who have been on this journey.
People around the world need to know there are many people struggling and in need of help. I am proud to have been a part of this walk and to help spread the message that there is hope for these families.