Mission Trip Guidelines

PACKING, PLANNING, AND TASKS FOR MISSION TRIPS

Once you have decided to travel to Kenya with Bonyo’s Kenya Mission (BKM), you will need to do the following tasks to assure your trip is in line with government agencies.

Depending upon the amount of time you have until you leave, the following timelines may be shorter or longer.

COST OF TRIP

When you decide to travel with BKM, we will let you know the current amount required to cover the
cost of the trip.

Plan for the estimated total of the trip be approximately $3000 to $4000 (not including out of pocket
expenses as listed below or your originating flight from your home to Nairobi).
This will fluctuate based on multiple aspects of the trip, but BKM will always work to keep it as
inexpensive for our volunteer travelers as possible!

BKM will send you a tax deduction letter covering all expenses, minus the safari, and including your flight
if you give us the documentation.

BKM will contact you several weeks prior to traveling with a prepayment plan that is specific to your
trip.
The above amount includes the following:

  • Lodging
  • Meals at our place of lodging and at the clinic
  • Transportation while in Kenya
  • Small medication donation for the clinic
  • Safari excursion

Out of pocket expenses:

  • Personal snacks and shopping
  • Water – depending upon how much you need, it will come to about $5 USD per week  Souvenirs – skies the limit, but $100 is the average
  • Meals outside our place of lodging or the clinic –once or twice per week we will go to a restaurant. This may be about $20 each, not including alcohol or tips
  • Side trips that are not part of the group activities – hippo tours, animal preserve, museums, etc. can run about $30 per excursion (hot air balloon ride on safari is about $400 USD extra)
  • Tips at restaurants, for housekeeping and drivers, and other personal donations / tips that you may determine are appropriate

Find more information about mission trips here: http://bonyoskenyamission.org/index.php/missiontrip/

SCHEDULE

Overall, a three-week trip includes:

  • 2 days travel to arrive
  • 14 days local to the clinic
  • 3 days on safari
  • 2 days travel to return home

Daily schedule: Leave our place of lodging about 8 am and leave the clinic when all the patients have cared for, approximately 5 pm.

Saturdays: approximately 8 am – 12 pm with other social activities in the afternoons, evenings.

Possibly side trips with the group, to be determined.

Sundays: attend morning church service with our local hosts in the village at least once (this is a matter of politeness – it is not mandatory, but is suggested) with other social activities in the afternoons, evenings.

PASSPORT

You will need a valid passport with an expiration date of at least six (6) months after your return date, with at least two blank visa pages (which face each other) available, one for the Kenya visa sticker and one facing for the stamps.

There may be a layover during the flight, resulting in a day-trip, so assure you have extra pages.

How to apply for a US Passport:
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english.html

If you need to order a passport, allow for several months lead-time, unless you wish to expedite at the last minute, which costs much more money.
A Passport CARD is not valid for flying. Assure you have a Passport BOOK.

Leave a copy of your passport, personal identification, birth certificate, immunization information, and credit card information with someone at home. A friend in the group should hold another copy as the Embassy requires these to obtain urgent replacement, should yours be lost while abroad. You might also want to email yourself copies.

Always refer to the official US Passport guidelines for any potential updated information not
contained here!

IMMUNIZATIONS

Assure your immunizations are up to date according to your travel destination. Assure you have an

immunization booklet with all dates listed. Contact your local health department or family physician to

assure you are beginning the trip healthy and well immunized:

  • Yellow Fever – highly recommended
  • Typhoid – highly recommended
    • https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/typhoid
    • Ask your doctor or nurse about a typhoid vaccine. This could be pills or a shot, and your doctor will help you decide which one is best for you.
    • See Vaccine Information Statements (VIS) for more information.
    • https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/current-vis.html
  • T-Dap or Tetanus immunization – highly recommended
    • https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/tdap.html
    • Tdap vaccine can protect adolescents and adults from tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. One dose of Tdap is routinely given at age 11 or 12. People who did not get Tdap at that age should get it as soon as possible.
    • Tdap is especially important for health care professionals and anyone having close contact with a baby younger than 12 months.
  • Malaria – required
    • https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/malaria
    • Travelers can protect themselves from malaria by taking prescription medicine and preventing mosquito bites.
    • Talk to your doctor about which medicine is best for you.
    • There are prescription medicines you can take to prevent malaria.
    • Take this medicine before, during, and after your trip.

Malaria medication options: Malaria is quite common in the area we serve. For this reason we highly suggest you use of the chemoprophylaxis treatments below:

  • Malerone (atovaquone/proguanil) is a daily tablet you take with food or a milky drink that contains fat. Take in the morning and continue for one week after return (#24 tablets total)
  • Doxycycline oral is a daily tablet that you start 1-2 days before leaving and continue for four weeks after returning
  • Lariam (mefloquine) is a weekly tablet that you start 1-2 weeks before leaving and continue for four weeks after returning. It can cause very vivid dreams and is not recommended if there is any history of depression or mental illness

You can also reduce your risk by preventing mosquito bites:

  • Stay inside or covered up at dusk and dawn. Wear shoes, long-sleeved shirts/pants if you go out during this time. Wear bug repellant that contains DEET or a chemical called picaridin. Sleep under a treated bug net.

Also, check out the CDCs helpful hints, located on their sites: Stay Healthy and Safe, Healthy Travel

Packing List, Travel Health Notices, and After Your Trip.

(Above italicized text is from the noted CDC websites.)

REGISTER WITH THE STATE DEPARTMENT

At least two weeks prior to your trip, register with the US State Department:
https://step.state.gov/step/

  • Create an Account; the website will walk you through the process
  • You will not need your passport to complete the Registration, however the site does ask for your passport number. This is not required you can skip this step
  • They will ask for your contact and address info, emergency contact info, passport info, and travel info
  • See flight itinerary for dates of arrival and departure
  • Destination Type: One-time Visit
  • Purpose of Visit: Tourist
  • Destination Contact Info: You will receive this info in an email, once the reservations are made
    for lodging
  • Destination Address (Non-US Information): Kisumu, Kenya
  • Additional Travelers: (Leave blank – unless you are traveling with family members)

You will receive several confirmation emails once you complete your registration. Keep these emails in a
file in your email where you can locate them.

Print your actual registration acceptance email in case it is requested at the border.

OBTAIN YOUR E-VISA

Purchase your Kenyan Visa online. Visit this page http://www.kenyaembassy.com/visa.html and scroll down to ‘E-Visa’ for further instructions as outlined here:

How to Apply

1. Go to www.evisa.go.ke and click on create e-visa account
2. Once logged in, select department of immigration services
3. Select submit application
4. Select Kenyan visa
5. Select the type of visa and read the instructions carefully
6. Fill in the application form
7. Pay using Visa, MasterCard, or other
8. Await approval via email, then download and print the e-visa from your e-citizen account
9. Present your printed e-visa to the immigration officer at the port of entry

Important to Note

1. Visa processing fee is nonrefundable
2. Incomplete applications will be rejected
3. The possession of an E-visa is not the final authority to enter the Republic of Kenya
4. Engaging in any form of business or employment without a requisite permit or pass is an offence
5. A visa is required prior to entry into the republic of Kenya
6. The E-visa printout must be presented at the port of entry

Normally, those traveling with BKM will purchase a Single Entry Visitor Visa.
The cost is approximately $50 USD.
More information regarding visas is available here:
https://www.kenyaembassy.com/dcservices/appforvisaonline.aspx
https://kenyaembassy.com/nyservices/appforvisaonline.aspx
www.immigration.go.ke

USA / KENYAN EMBASSY LOCATIONS:
http://nairobi.usembassy.gov/
http://www.kenyaembassy.com/
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/kenya.html

MONEY CONSIDERATIONS

Kenya Customs, Currency & Airport Tax regulations details
Kenya’s national currency is the Kenyan Shilling (KSh).
US Dollars (USD) are accepted although will require the buyer to understand the exchange rate.  We recommend you use local currency or credit cards to pay for restaurant bills, souvenirs, etc., when able.

Due to the number of fake notes in circulation, no US bills printed before 2003 are accepted in Kenya.  Your safest bet is to take money printed within the past five years. Twenty-dollar bills work best for exchanging.

Banking facilities and ATMs are available and major credit cards are widely accepted.   Using your card where cards are accepted, or at the ATM, will avoid having to worry about the exchange rates.
Be certain to notify your bank before you leave if you plan to use your credit/debit cards.
http://www.iatatravelcentre.com/KE-Kenya-customs-currency-airport-tax-regulations-details.htm
http://www.go2africa.com/location/226/travel-advice

Exchange Rates and traveling money:
The current exchange rate from USD (US Dollars) to KSh (Kenya Shillings) can be found here:
http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/convert/?From=USD&To=KES
The cost of living is much lower in Kenya, so your money will go further while in Kenya than in the USA.  Contact the customer service number on the back of any credit or debit cards you take to let them know your travel dates and locations (Amsterdam and / or London and Kenya).

Tipping
Tipping is customary in Kenya although it is at your discretion.
A 10% tip is customary when a service charge is not included.

Shopping
There is a department store in Kisumu (Nakamat) where you can buy shampoo, soap, conditioner, sun block, mosquito repellant, snacks, bottled water, hand sanitizer, etc.
We will visit local markets as time allows.

Tax Deductible
This trip, with the exception of the safari and souvenirs, is tax deductible as Bonyo’s Kenya Mission is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

BKM will send you a tax deduction letter covering all expenses minus the safari. The flight to/from Nairobi is also tax deductible. If you send your flight reservation information with amount you paid on it to BKM, the tax letter will include that amount.

SAFETY

As a safety consideration, please do not post on social media that you are traveling to Kenya with BKM prior to your arrival.

You may post privately to your friends that you are traveling on a mission trip and would like donated supplies. Do not post publicly or tag BKM in your post.

Although there has never been an incident on a BKM trip, we ask that you honor the request of keeping our trip information private.

This request is not only due to our safety concerns for our travelers, but if word gets out that we are arriving at the clinic at a specific time, patients may inundate the clinic beyond capacity. You will understand this request better, once you arrive in the country.
Dr. Bonyo will have several Kenyan phones that people are welcome to use for contacting family.

Contact your cellphone company to add international calls, if you feel this is important. You could alternately purchase a pre-paid phone upon arrival.

Check your health insurance to see if you are covered for international care/ evacuation. If not, checkout Medex for additional coverage. This is at your discretion.

It is illegal to take pictures in the airport or to take photos of uniformed personnel anywhere in the
country including road stops.

PURCHASE YOUR AIRLINE TICKETS

BKM members travel exclusively through CHIMA TRAVEL BUREAU INC. (AGENTID05614843)
http://www.chima.travel/
Carolyn +1-864-944-0436

Inform Carolyn that you want to travel with Bonyo’s Kenya Mission so she can plan your trip to match that of the trip you are joining.

Avoid altering your travel days from the group, as this costs BKM extra money in transportation fees from the final airport to the lodging destination. If you are planning your own trip prior to arriving in Kenya or afterward, assure your plans include you arriving or leaving Nairobi at the same time as the rest of the group. Assure Dr. Bonyo knows your plans in advance.

Flights from Nairobi to Kisumu will be purchased in Kisumu for you and are part of the up-front fees. If there will be an overnight stay in Nairobi or elsewhere during the flight in or out of Kenya, it will be included in the up-front travel costs and arranged for you by BKM, as well.

Travel insurance is optional but offered through your travel agent. If choosing this insurance, please be sure to mention this at the time of ticket purchase.

DONATIONS PACKING

Your ticket will allow you to travel with two 50 pound checked bags and one carry on, not exceeding combined L x W x H measurements of 62 inches.

BKM hopes that you will be willing to participate in this very important part of transferring life-changing supplies from the USA to Kenya.

If you need donations to fill your bags, please contact BKM for additional supplies.

BKM collects school and medical supplies throughout the year in preparation to take these items on our
mission trips.

We all work together and have airport carts for transporting between flights, so do not let the size worry
you.

There will be a ‘packing date’ set before the trip where you can bring your bags to Dr. Bonyo’s office to fill to the brim with important supplies. You will pack your own bag, so you do not have to worry about what you are traveling with.

Once your bags are filled and weighed, place a contents list on the outside, sealed in a ziplock baggie and duct tape it on the front of each bag. Do not lock your travel bags, as security at the first airport will require looking into your bags. After inspection and before transferring your luggage to the conveyor belt, zip-tie, lock, or ask for TSA tape to seal your bag.

Tape extra zip ties to the inside of your bag, in case it needs to be inspected mid-flight and for the trip home.

Write your name and home address with a permanent marker on your bags, both checked and carry-on.

  • Write MAMA PILISTA BONYO MEMORIAL HEALTH CENTER, MASARA, KISUMU, KENYA as the delivery address.
    Items to be taken over may include the following, or other items of your choosing:

    • Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, other pain relievers/anti-inflammatories that are not expired
    • Vitamins: Daily / pregnancy / children’s that are not expired
    • Toothbrushes / toothpastes
    • Prescription medications that are not expired
    • Donated surgical items from hospitals (check with Bonyo first about need for larger items)
    • Small medical equipment
    • Purell and other hand sanitizers
    • Sanitary napkins (lack of this item keeps many girls from going to school)
    • Condoms
    • Sterile and nonsterile exam gloves
    • Sunglasses, eyeglasses, readers / cheaters
    • Hotel shampoos, conditioners, soaps, lotions, shower caps, etc
    • School supplies: paper, notepads, pencils, pens, chalk
    • Ball caps and hats with sun visors
    • Sewing kits and buttons
    • Soccer balls and pumps (official size, not toys) (deflated easier to transport) / soccer shoes (any size) / shin guards
    • If you are unsure, please ask us if an item is a good idea

Be sure to ask your friends, family, and community groups to donate.

If you work in a hospital, ask the surgery department for those small bottles of iodine they often throw away and for any other supplies they do not use like IV tubing, wound care supplies.

Depending upon the item, opened, non-sterile, and outdated items are valuable resources for the clinic in Kenya. Ask Dr. Bonyo before you decide against a donation.

Remember that money from here buys a lot more there and for a lot cheaper (plus it is easier to transport).

We often leave our luggage at the clinic to use to store supplies, however, you can return with one (or both) on the return trip, packed with souvenirs.

We suggest that you visit your local second-hand stores to purchase luggage for the trip so that you do not have to worry about losing or returning with your good luggage.

They do appreciate any items that you want to leave behind!

DRESS CODE

Clinic:
Lightweight and comfortable clothing such as scrubs, t-shirts, jeans/slacks, closed shoes (The Salvation Army Store or Goodwill usually carry a nice selection of scrubs for about $4 per piece. Three sets of scrubs are suggested)

Village:
Conservative slacks, jeans, long skirts, covered top (no shorts / short skirts/ exposing tops)

Shoes:
Comfortable, enclosed walking shoes (no bare feet!) (Heels are not suggested anywhere due to terrain)

(Sandals are not suggested in Kenya due to the parasites in the ground, but are comfortable for
traveling)

Jacket:
Light evening jacket or rain jacket

Hats:
Sun visors, hats, sunglasses are strongly advised
Laundry service available
Sunscreen is important!
Consider a refillable water bottle to be part of your outfit!

We will be about 30 miles south of the equator…its hot and sunny or hot and humid or raining most of
the time.

The weather will be 80-110 F daytime and 60-80 F nighttime, depending upon the season.
https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/KEXX0005:1:KE

PERSONAL PACKING

Pack all cameras, prescriptions medications, change of clothes, toothbrush, earplugs, sleep mask, travel pillow, snacks, refillable water bottle, etc. in your carry-on bags.

Voltage adapter for your plug-in items: three-squared variety Type G https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/world-electricity-guide.html

We suggest that you visit your local second-hand stores to purchase clothing for the trip so that you do not have to worry about losing or returning with your good clothing.

Kenya is hot and humid. Shop for clothing that is comfortable for you to wear in Kenya that you can afford to leave behind. This will offer the opportunity for you to travel light on the way home and not worry about losing or ruining your favorite things.

Suggestions for clothing includes cotton and cotton blended items, dress comfortably but with the thought in mind, that Kenya is a very modest country. Take longer shorts and skirts, t-shirts or button downs, lightweight slacks, walking shoes, tennis shoes, light jacket, ball cap or other hats with visors and sunglasses.

It advised that you do not wear open shoes in Kenya. There are Jiggers and other parasites in the dust and dirt. http://www.jigger-ahadi.org/jiggers.html
https://www.iamat.org/country/kenya/risk/intestinal-parasites-soil-transmitted-helminths

Sandals are safe for traveling, but are not recommended for everyday footwear.

Suggested clothing list:

  • Two pair of lightweight sports shoes (light hiking shoes or tennis shoes – good footwear is important!) (two pair, so one can dry while you wear the other in case they get wet or muddy. Inexpensive rain boots can be brought or purchased as we may have to walk through some deep mud if the cars can’t make it through.)
  • Pack cotton, linen, or wicking clothing (Synthetic fabrics don’t breathe well. It’s going to be wet and warm! )
  • Lightweight long pants and long sleeved shirt for dusk and dawn. A light button down that you can throw over your t-shirt is good to have when the bugs come out
  • Shorts can be worn in the city (mid-thigh or capris)
  • A light, well covering dress or skirt or a sarong over shorts that covers knees with a well covering top for women and an appropriate shirt and long pants for men (open air church services, so dress cool and comfortable, but discreet.)
  • Three sets of scrubs is suggested if you intend to wear them – whether you are clinical or not, scrubs are comfortable for working at the clinic (you can buy them second hand and leave them behind.) (Avoid taking your employer’s work scrubs.)
  • One pair of sandals (sandals are for the airport and wearing around the lodging areas)
  • Swim suit – optional but there might be an opportunity to swim
  • Don’t over pack on socks, underclothes, accessories (there is laundry service available)

One outfit to wear and two to wash is a good rule of thumb for light packing.

Shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. can be purchased at the local store. This is easier than carrying it across the world. Share products with roommates to save on costs and leave left overs behind; the housekeeping staff appreciates the donation!

A backpack is convenient for carrying on your personal items: in case your checked bags are lost, carry on one change of clothes, prescriptions, electronics, ID, itinerary, etc. Take as few personal items as possible in both carry-on and checked bags. All other items should be checked luggage. This plan will make for a nice traveling-light experience.
Pack with the thought in mind that nearly everything you take, you may want to leave behind at the clinic or with the friends you will meet!

When you pack, it works really well, and makes inspections at borders easier, if you keep items separated in gallon storage bags (one for underclothes, one for shirts, one for bottles of medication, one for bathroom stuff…. press all the air out of the bags, and you will be amazed at how much space you have. )

Make sure bottles of liquids fit inside a sandwich baggie or meet the TSA regulations.
https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/liquids-rule

Personal medical kit:

  • Antimalarial
  • Cipro (500mg 4 tablets) or Zithromax (500mg 4 tablets) (ask your primary care physician to prescribe these for you – just in case)
  • Lomotil/Imodium tablets
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Dramamine , Bonine or other meclizine (motion sickness) medications (for flight and long bumpy roads)
  • powdered Gatorade
  • melatonin (2-3mg taken 30 minutes before bedtime on day of travel and for up to 4 days upon arrival to aid with jet lag)
  • personal prescriptions

Contact lenses can be a challenge to keep clean. Bring back up prescription glasses. Sunglasses are essential (polarized preferred).

A daypack, fanny pack, small purse, or a traveler’s hidden wallet/belt are a real convenience. Do not bring a bulky handbag.

If you plan to take your cell phone, talk to the service provider about options. It can get expensive and may not actually work even if you plan ahead. Facebook, FaceTime, Skype, etc. are better ways to communicate with family, friends, and co-workers at home.

Do not take or wear expensive jewelry and avoid taking expensive electronics, if you can.

Miscellaneous Personal Packing:

  • Bed net –optional, as our place of lodging usually offers them but they may have holes and may not be treated
  • Water bottle -can purchase large jugs at local grocery store to refill
  • Journal
  • Camera/charger…long lens if you have one for safari
  • Travel alarm
  • Duct tape…1001 uses!
  • Travel sewing kit
  • High protein snacks (bars, trail mix, peanut butter) our lunch at the clinic usually consist of white bread or chapatti and tea o There is a Nakamat grocery store where you can purchase snacks. Consider how you usually eat and snack-pack accordingly. Be aware that the patients at the village do not have these luxuries and will be very interested in what you bring
  • Plastic baggies of different sizes
  • Voltage converter/adapter – check your device (often those with ‘blocks’ are both 110/220 and do not need a converter, only a plug adapter. Adapter strips with multiple US plugs are a true convenience
  • All-in-one surge protectors are good to protect electronics. If the plugs are two-prong nongrounded use #300 adapters. For three-prong grounded plugs use the #3G plug adapters
  • Wristwatch – although we will be on “Kenyan time” meaning we rarely actually follow the scheduled times…be flexible and get used to it!
  • Comfort items (iPod, books, games, card etc.)
  • Spending money – we will provide you with $100 already exchanged.
    • Spending more is easy to do, so be prepared just in case, you can get more from the ATM
  • Credit card for emergencies – especially shopping emergencies.
    • Contact your banking institutions first
  • Small precious or useful items to trade at market or for gifts
    • Gifts with a personal touch or USA-theme go over well

Medical staff packing:

  • Purell, large one and small travel one to refill
  • Stethoscope if you have one, if not we will have some extra at the clinic
  • Penlight or headlamp
  • Box of medical gloves in your size
  • Tropical disease reference book (Oxford text recommended), Sanford/Pharmacopeia guide
  • Leatherman/Swiss army knife – do not pack in carry on
  • Duct tape
  • Small notebook, calculator
MISCELLANEOUS

Mosquitoes:
Malaria is a serious condition and travelers must prepare against it by taking an antimalarial medication as prescribed by their physician.

Zika is also present in Kenya. Discuss your travel plans with your primary care provider regarding this virus and your health while traveling and after returning. https://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html

Optional – Treat clothing that you plan to wear at night with permethrin spray, which can be obtained where hunting/camping supplies are sold.

Restrooms:
Using the restroom may be a new experience for you away from our place of lodging. While at the clinic, there is an outhouse with a ‘pit latrine’ or you might come across a ‘squatting toilet’ while on side trips.

http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/hygiene/emergencies/fs3_4.pdf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squat_toilet

Ladies…you might like to bring a ‘feminine funnel’. Several options are available; check your local camping store or online (search ‘female urination device’).

Other:
There are many street children in Nairobi and Kisumu. You should not give them money, but can give them food. Beware that it can invite more children than you can handle.
We will have time to go to the store and get large jugs of water. Do not drink the tap water or eat fruit or vegetables that do not have a peel or have not been cooked or washed with boiled water.

Shaking hands when greeting people is an important custom. You generally shake hands with everyone when first meeting them. Holding your right forearm with your left hand is considered a sign of respect for elders and leaders.

Time is not as important to Kenyans as it is to us, hence the term “Kenyan time” (so chill out, do not be in a rush or you will get frustrated. People are used to waiting around for others.)

It is considered rude to ask someone to come by curling one/multiple fingers up. Rather point your palm downward if you use your hand to call someone. Pointing is also rude.
Show approval with two thumbs up.

Eye contact is important to establish trust.

People generally like to acknowledge titles (Doctor, Professor, Madame, Sir, etc.)

If you learn just a few words and use them, they really appreciate it!

When welcomed into someone’s home, you should sit on the outside wall unless invited to sit elsewhere.

Hand washing is before and after meals and is often done with a basin with soap and boiled water. They generally do not have anything to dry your hands but they will air dry quickly. When served a meal it is important to try most, if not all, the foods and to finish what you take….this can be difficult so be careful what you choose. It is more difficult when they server you but keep in mind that it is an honor for them to be able to offer you a drink or food, and it might be more than they normally have for themselves.

Kenyans recycle-Glass bottles must be returned to vendors. Plastic bottles can be reused and are valuable to the Kenyan people. Plastic shopping bags have recently been outlawed in Kenya.

Your translators and other helpers will appreciate any clothing you might want to leave with them.

If you give individual children gifts, you may have a swarm and it can lead to a fight. You may want to give it to an adult in charge to distribute later.

Afternoon tea is a common tradition. Kenyan tea is some of the best in the world. Be sure to bring some back with you! Ask for your tea ‘black (without milk) or English style (with milk).

Kenyan coffee is also the best; however, we rarely get that. Most of it is exported and we get instant coffee crystals. If you have a camp coffee press, you can bring it if you are a big coffee drinker. We can buy ground coffee beans at the store.

It is quite common to see people of the same gender holding hands and dancing with each other. It does not say anything about their sexual orientation. Feel free to join in this loving tradition!

LANGUAGE

Here are a few phrases you might want to learn in Luo and Kiswahili. Most of the people we interact with speak English but also speak Luo and Kiswahili. They like to teach us their languages so it is good to get a head start!

Luo is the tribal language of the people in Kisumu and around the clinic.

Swahili, also known as Kiswahili, is a Bantu language and the first language of the Swahili people. It is a lingua franca of the African Great Lakes region and other parts of eastern and southeastern Africa, including Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Don’t worry, most everyone in the city speaks English, as it is the official language of Kenya.

In the village, the elders and those who have not gone to school only speak Luo. We will have translators with us when working in the clinic and schools.

http://www.omniglot.com/language/phrases/swahili.php
http://goafrica.about.com/od/peopleandculture/a/swahili.htm
http://economics.ozier.com/language/dholuo.html
http://www.ewbuw.org/node/181
http://www.magicalkenya.com/visit-kenya/learn-swahili/
http://economics.ozier.com/language/dholuo.html

RETURNING HOME
  • Continue antimalarial medicine as directed
  • Obtain a TB skin test 10 weeks after returning
  • Share photos and stories so that we can update our website

Especially when it is your first trip to a developing country, it is normal to experience ‘culture shock’ and ‘reverse culture shock’.

You can read more about Culture Shock and Reverse Culture Shock here:
https://www.state.gov/m/fsi/tc/c56075.htm

As with culture shock, many aspects of reverse culture shock are subjective, therefore each person will have a unique experience in readapting to his or her home culture. Research indicates some common patterns existing among most sojourners’ reentry experiences.

In contemplating your return, consider these three main points:

  • Home has changed
  • You have changed
  • You have adapted to another culture and now you must readapt

General Challenges

  • It is difficult to convey the emotions of your experience to your friends and family…understand that they did not experience the trip as you did. They love you and want to hear about your experience, but to them it is a story, not an experience.
  • Friends and family will want to catch you up to date, but you may feel that it is not as important as what you have just experienced…understand that it is important to them, similar to how you feel when you want to talk about your experience.
  • You may miss being abroad where you were different for several reasons, and may have felt special…at home you are back to your normal self…that’s ok!

You miss the tight-knit community you were a part of in Kenya. You can continue to be a part of BKM!

Read more here about Managing Reverse Culture Shock: https://www.state.gov/m/fsi/tc/c56076.htm

The welcome mat is always out at Bonyo’s Kenya Mission for our volunteer travelers and we ask that you keep in touch with us for years to come.

Keeping in touch with BKM will help to alleviate any longing for your experience that you may have.

Bonyo’s Kenya Mission web site: http://bonyoskenyamission.org/

Bonyo’s Kenya Mission on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bonyos-Kenya-Mission-139117632779324/

BKM’s Mama Pilista Bonyo Memorial Health Center on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bkmpista/

Contact Us: PO Box 13045, Fairlawn, OH  44334

info@bonyoskenyamission.org

Many volunteers for BKM have been to Kenya at least once, some multiple times, and we love to talk about it so feel free to contact us. You may also send us written reflections of your trip that we can share on our web and Facebook site.

Let us know when you are ready to travel again!