knits by sachi

The World Challenge

on August 4, 2014

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As I have mentioned it here before, my 16 year-old son is going to Africa to take a part in the World Challenge next summer.

He recently received an e-mail from the organizer about the schedule. It is still at a very early stage and nothing is definite of course. He will be spending four weeks in Kenya and Tanzania. This year’s group had to change the destinations due to the political turmoil in Kenya, but we are hoping things will settle down soon.

According to the plan, my son will be spending one week with the Masai tribe and, he is so so excited about it. Ever since he was very small, he dreamed about visiting the safari, watching wild animals in action and meeting the native people.IMG_6268

He knows it isn’t a holiday. He will be staying with locals where living facilities are very limited and, he is supposed to be helping the people with their work and school. I don’t think there is a shower or even a toilet.
And the cost? Close to £4,000 which he has promised to raise by himself. It is a bit mad.

On top of the worries of terrorists and bombs, there are many diseases we need to worry about.
We have a vaccinations list; Tetanus, polio, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Rabies, Yellow Fever, Meningitis A and C. He also needs to take some protection against Malaria.
He just had one dose of Hepatitis A and B last week.

I told him he could write all these on his CV once he is done.

With the influence from people around me, I was a bit weary of getting my children vaccinations when they were small, but there you have it. My son doesn’t have a luxury to wonder whether or not vaccinations are good for you. You can’t even get a visa without them.

We have a saying in Japan: If you love your children, send them out into the world. I have to be very brave.

I know he is going to have fantastic experiences there.
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Do you like my Masai baby? He is my favorite.


5 responses to “The World Challenge

  1. Julie Henn says:

    Sachi, I understand your concerns about sending your “baby” out into the world! Yes, Africa can be a scary place, but the experiences he gains from this wild and beautiful continent will touch his soul and stay with him forever! I grew up in South Africa and can promise you he will be warmly welcomed, and to experience the people, the animals and the majestic landscape will be a unique experience. I didn’t travel out of South Africa, but was privileged to visit the Kruger National Park, where even as an African, Africa’s magic worked on me – the sounds, sights, smells and rhythm of life stay with me today! The majority of Africans are warm and generous and as he’s in an organised group and staying with locals, he’ll feel Africa’s warm welcome! I wish him well and hope that Africa’s warm embrace leaves him a lifetime of happy memories! Sorry about all the “jabs”, but better safe than sorry…

    • knitsbysachi says:

      Thank you! Now I feel much better. We hear only sad news on TV and, I have been worried so much. I know he will have great experiences there. My son is a bit shy and his communication skill isn’t so great, but the stay in Africa may change him.

  2. Pam says:

    My daughter did the same world challenge last year and absolutely loved it except the lack of showers! It was a great experience and the photos were amazing. Hope your son enjoys it too.

    • knitsbysachi says:

      It is so nice to hear something positive. We don’t know anyone who has done the challenge in the past and I worry. Did she go to Africa? Thank you for the kind comment.

      • Pam says:

        Yes. She did Kenya and Tanzania. Lots of treks. Helping out in a school. Dancing and singing with the Masai tribe. They also did a safari and saw giraffe, zebra, elephants really close plus hippos. She is so glad she went as she had a bit of a wobble a few months before going and didn’t want to go but she is so glad she stuck with it. Just remember the extra costs for visas and injections!

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