Hailey Devine November 28, 2019 KENYA EXPEDITION 2019: Pt. 1 Lucy and Greta off to host their first Somewhere Devine Expedition in KENYA! They were honestly ANGELS as this is the furthest they’ve ever traveled (25 hours) – We only had one sliiiiight potty accident but honestly they did so well – I had a series of different activities/toys/treats that we pulled out every few hours along with new little shows they’ve never seen loaded on the iPad to keep things interesting. Polly Pockets and sticky hands were the real heroes – and of course our Jetkids Bedbox – I honestly died when I saw them sleeping across the isle and realized they were holding hands!? Oh my gosh. I love watching their frienship grow and wish I could just pause time right here. They’ve been such amazing little travelers and I thank my lucky starts because the night before our trip I had an ovarian cyst rupture and it was one of the most PAINFUL experiences of my life (like beyond birth). I contemplated not going because it was so bad (why do these things happen at the worst timing!?) but this was the first time that I was coordinating all the logistics for our group on my own, so I HAD TO BE THERE. So I was totally drugged up and in recovery mode when we hit our first flight. I was so THANKFUL to be feeling almost 100% by the time we hit the ground. Besides the crazy jetlag. 😉 We got to Kenya 24 hours before our group to get everything settled along with getting the kids on the timezone before meeting the dozens of new people we would be hosting for the next week! They were so excited to get their very first “Somewhere Devine” mini t-shirts! We also saw giraffes from the distance from breakfast if you looked reallllly hard and they swam in the fun hotel pool – which unfortunately turned both of their hair super green hahaha but #worthit First day in Kenya and was a trip for the books! We went on a “foot safari” and saw hippos, gazelle, water buffalo, and the friendliest giraffes! Lucy is completely in her element running around with her binoculars saying things like “I just saw the most beautiful butterfly!” as Greta is on my hip saying, “Mom, don’t step in that poop.” Hahaha Grandma Becky & Grammy Gladys! We received an extra warm welcome the second we walked through the gate at our service project at Mattaw Children – I went to greet Beatrice, one of the many incredible Mamas in this village, and instead of shaking my hand she took Greta from my arms for a big cuddle! Wherever you find the babies, you will find Lucy. Greta taking her painting job VERY seriously… It has been an absolute JOY to work alongside the Bud & Kimberly Huffman, who founded Mattaw Children, and learn more about their story. Amongst some of the outstanding things that Bud and Kimberly have done here in Kenya, they have created @mattawchildren for underprivileged children in unique and devastating situations. They bring them into loving HOMES centered around God (note: not an orphanage), with parents and all the tools to succeed in life. No one is labeled as an “orphan”, but a “brother/sister”. It was so inspiring to play, laugh, and LEARN from these children during our project in their village. Lots of them have come from abuse and severe poverty, and now have dreams of becoming doctors, teachers, lawyers, and THEY ARE THRIVING! Lucy vs a big nasty cowpie hahah the cowpie won. Everything feels so carefree in Kenya, it started to downpour and we all ran into the school for refuge but then we saw the kids frolicking in the rainstorm so we all went out and danced and ran around with them until our toes were pruney! While our projects with the Somewhere Devine team consisted of building/improving the school and homes in Mattaw Children’s Village, I can’t help but feel like we are walking away with so much more than we could have ever given. These children filled us with love, and they taught our HEARTS! I am forever grateful.