We will be doing a blog with some of our student-athletes from the track team on their trip to Africa, it will depend on the internet access.
The last day here started pretty early but it wasn't the earliest day we've had. We had to be ready by 6:15 a.m. to head back to the forest for our run. We ran about 4 miles on a different trail from the last time we were there. After we got done running we went back to our hotel for breakfast and to get ready. We left our hotel at 9:30 a.m. to go back to the AIC Childcare center. We went back to play with the children with the new toys we got them.
The first time we were there we played soccer with a ball that they made out of plastic bags. We were able to get them a real soccer ball. I wish I was there to see the expressions on their face once they saw it. This time I was given the opportunity to go watch two of our physical therapy professors work with some of the kids at the AIC center. I had played with the kids the first day so I wanted to go and observe our professors. I am an exercise science major with dreams of becoming a physical therapist so I am very thankful that Jill Jumper and Joe McCormick allowed me to watch them as they worked with the patients. Although I didn't get to see the children's reactions to the toys, I was able to see some of the doctor's reactions when our athletic trainer Sarah Nielsen gave them some medical equipment. They were very thankful for some of the stuff she gave them. A lot of the stuff that was given to them we have easy access to, but for them it is really hard to get some of the stuff she gave them. We are used to being able to have access to that kind of stuff so we forget it is another thing that we should also be thankful for.
We were able to spend an hour there. I noticed that wasn't enough time for our PT professors to work with the patients. They still managed to help as many as they could with the short amount of time we had. That made it hard for me to leave because I just wanted to stay and help. It was 12:30 p.m. when we had to leave for lunch. When it was time to go we all said goodbye to the children. As I was saying goodbye one of the little girls noticed my charm bracelet, grabbed my arm, saw that it was me, hugged me, and began to yell for the other girl. They were the two girls I spent my first day there with. That had only made leaving harder but we had to go.
We had lunch at Enchula Resort Hotel and then left back to our hotel. Once we got back we had about 3 hours to pack up our stuff and leave to the airport by 6:30 p.m. We ending up leaving like at 7:15 p.m. because our bus had broken down and we were waiting for a new one. Once we got to the airport and passed security some of us were trying to get our tickets but they were "refunded." Both coach and six of our athletes, including me had to wait aside to see what was going to happen. I honestly thought I was going to have to spend another night in Nairobi. After about 30 minutes of waiting, we finally got our tickets one by one. We were able to get on our plane and head home.
I may have gotten there a day late (if you know, you know) but it was definitely a trip to remember. Many valuable lessons and many great experiences came out of this trip. Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible!
Today HSU XC was honored to be sponsored by Coca-Cola. In addition to sharing the historic "Vapor" track with the Kajiado's most gifted runners at their county championship meet.
Our day started with a nutritious breakfast at 6:30AM, from there we caught a 7:30AM bus ride over to the facility. One thing for sure, time schedules back home and in Kenya are not the same. However, just like any meet travel day HSU was early.
When we arrived to the facility we had the pleasure of meeting some athletes who were warming up for the morning 10,000m race. We all took photos and exchanged biographies with these talented runners.
After a major event schedule change, we found ourselves near the time of competing. It was a very competitive meet around 7,000ft in elevation, but at the same time a very fun one. At the starting line we found Kenyan runners of all ages competing for a spot on the county's regional team. The regional team will travel to a meet, where they are the previous year champs, and then from there to the Jr. World Olympics.
Although we wouldn't mind a chance to make their team, we simply enjoyed running with the best of the best. Overall It was a great race day, everyone set a new PR for an event that wasn't on American soil. HSUs very own coach Leggett, coach Footer, President Bruntmyer and Kissamei participated in a 100m fun run.
After the competition we all had a big lunch provided by a nearby resort. From there, we headed back to our hotel to begin resting and recovering for tomorrow's early hill workout.
Once again, it was a great day in Kenya.
I would just like to say thank you to my parents for their support and helping me fill all the requirements to come on this trip, and to the HSU athletic department for planning an experience my teammates and I will never forget.
William Tyler Stout
Hello, my name is William Tyler Stout. I am going to be a sophomore this year coming semester at Hardin Simmons and I run Cross Country and track and I was given the duty to blog about the fourth day on the Cross Country trip to Kenya.
First off I would like to start out with thank you to all of the people who made this trip a reality. So far this trip has opened my eyes to amazing knowledge and experience that I could not have dreamed of.
With today being Sunday June 30 we were scheduled to go to a Nairobi church called St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church of East Africa where our university President was giving the sermon. The morning started off early with having to wake up at 7:00 am, which is about 11:00 pm US time, and had to leave for the church at 7:45 am.
Once we arrived at the church we were greeted by the pastor and a few of the deacons and led to a very small room where they fit at least 30-40 people. Me being the claustrophobic person that I am, it was not fun. But once we left the small room and began the sermon I learned a lot from our president's sermon. After the 9:00 service was over we were led and told to attend the 11:00 youth service. In total, we probably spent between four to four and a half hours at the church.
Once we finished with what needed to be done at the church, we went and had lunch at these two restaurants. We were given an option of either a café that served American style food or an Italian restaurant. If I'm honest I would have never thought we would be eating those types of meals in Kenya.
Once we finished our lunch we headed back to the place where we are staying to change and get ready to go running to get ready for our competition on Tuesday. For practice, we went to these dirt trails that were owned by the Kenyan government, I believe, where we ran about 5 miles. That was our day. Thank you again to all of those who helped this trip become an awesome and very enjoyable experience.
Day number 2 in Kenya began with a four mile run on back roads and ditches.
We ran with two Kenyan coaches one named Shadrack and the other Sammy. They showed us very interesting warm up and cool down stretches. Ones that us runner who are uncoordinated had a little trouble to do at first.
We then got the opportunity to go to a child care home where we were greeted by smiling children who had nothing. They were poor children who had disabilities but were the happiest and sweetest children you would have ever met. The cross country team really enjoyed running and playing soccer with them. (Their soccer ball was made out of plastic bags wrapped in some kind of yarn). I even taught some kids some dance moves and it just tore my heart having to leave them. I think one of the small ones would have fit in my luggage so I was very tempted.
We then took a "two" hour bus drive which turned into four because of how bumpy the roads are. I will never forget looking back at coach and Sarah when we went air born in a giant bus thinking this is it but, turn back around and the bus driver looks at me and says "Welcome to Kenya". I have learned in the short few days that I have been here how grateful and blessed I am to have experienced this culture and the wonderful smiling warm-hearted people that are in it.
I will leave you with a saying the bus driver told us many times "don't worry be happy". These people in Kenya have nothing but they are the happiest and nicest people I have ever met. Next time you are about to complain about something know that there are people out there with far less than you have and are thriving and making things happen with nothing at all but the shirts on their backs and giant smiles on their faces.
Today was another good day for us in Kenya!
Most of us woke up early for an early morning game drive, where we got to see tons of wild animals roaming freely, not even caring that we were there watching, as they would walk right in front of us sometimes.
After the game drive we stopped for breakfast, got packed up, and then went out for another game drive with a visit to a Maasai village. We got to participate in another Maasai song and dance, before we were given a tour of the village and even shown inside their homes. They explained how they live day-to-day, and even showed us how they make fire.
We were later given bracelet gifts, and then allowed to shop in their market. After we finished, they prayed with us and we journeyed back to the hotel, seeing more animals along the way. We ate lunch and hit the road for a Ngong Hills, where we'll spend the rest of our time in Kenya.
Only getting about three hours of sleep the night before was crazy but the day was full of so many great things.
In the morning we got to try African Tea and then went on to meet the Governor of Kajiado County, where we were greeted with a Maasai song and dance. Soon after, we ate lunch at the hotel and the food is so great here.
Then after a couple hours of rest, we had the opportunity to go run with some amazing Kenyan athletes. Their names were Sammy and Shadrack, and they were so nice and welcoming.
On our run we had to run through goats and cows as they blocked the road on our way back to the hotel. For dinner we had a beef stew as well as rice, chicken, and chapati. I am so excited to see what else we encounter on this trip and am so thankful to HSU for the opportunity to come to Kenya for a once in a lifetime experience.