It was our girls weekend away last weekend, and at one point I was rallying them up to vote for Marcus in the IVHQ Volunteer of the Year Awards. “He’s in 2nd place” I said, “Who’s Marcus?” asked Kirsty. Kirsty had been on holiday last year when Marcus visited Scotland where he was introduced to my friends and other delicacies like haggis and our nasty, sorry native Irn Bru (we have the photos to prove it :) We laughed…actually we did that a LOT last weekend but anyway I went on to explain a little bit about the friend I met whilst in Kenya 3 years ago.
Marcus is quite an remarkable guy really. He gave up his life in New Zealand 3 years ago and headed out to Kenya to volunteer with International Volunteer HQ. Within the first few weeks of being out there, he and a few other volunteers were taken to visit a slum in Naivasha, which is around an hour North of Nairobi. Moved by what they saw they took action. And not just little action!!!! These guys went about visiting the community and finding out the needs. That was the beginning of one of the most outstanding projects I have ever had the privilege of getting to know. The KCC Slum Project was born and Marcus is now the Manager there – but he doesn’t get a salary for it…he self funds! I could go on endlessly about it, but I am not the one to tell that story. They are now a fully registered International NGO (non-government organisation) and are doing some OUTSTANDING things! You can find out all about it by hitting some links throughout this blog if you want to know more. They have a brilliant blog and a store too with some great purchases.
Anyway, the reason I write this blog is because today it’s Marcus’ birthday and he is still working his socks off out in Kenya. Happy Birthday Mate! And even more impressive is that he has now been nominated by International Volunteer HQ as Volunteer of the Year…(use this link to VOTE :) and he is pipping between 1st and 2nd position!!!! It’s down to the public vote and I really think he deserves that title and the prize money that goes with it to his project. So this is a blog post to encourage you to hop on over, read a little bit of his story and if you would find it in yourself take the time to vote for him!
So here is Marcus. And 3 years ago today, he and I were in Rwanda. I was coming to the end of my 7 months in Kenya and he was looking for something special to do for his 30th birthday. We both had one thing very high on our list! Trekking with some of the last 350 remaining mountain gorillas in the world. We took the 26 hour bus journey to Rwanda, and THIS is what we met there!!! There is so much more to add about our time in Rwanda but this post is purely about the gorillas and about your VOTE. Please enjoy the photographs and PLEASE spend a second voting :) Thank you x
Gee that was one outstanding trip of a lifetime! Cheers Mate! x
It is impossible for me to write this post without thinking deeply about Kenya right now. Today, 14.9 million Kenyan’s are awaiting the results of their first elections under the new Constitution set up in 2010. This was as a means of ensuring there would be fair and just election processes and to avoid any repeat of the post election violence that plagued the country during the last elections of 2007/08 where over 1200 people were brutally murdered. The situation is continuously evolving right now and you can find out news as it happens by using the following on twitter #KenyaDecides #Decision2013, #Choice2013 @NTVKenya @IEBC @KTN
Thanks for stopping by as always. One People, One Kenya. #peace