Our time at St. Al’s so far:
A week ago today, we boarded a flight from New York to Nairobi, anxious and excited to visit St. Al’s. When we arrived at the school Wednesday morning not really knowing what to expect, we were greeted by teachers and students who welcomed us into their community with open arms. After a brief orientation to the school and introduction to all of the students, we observed classes including business, biology, mathematics, and Kiswahili to see the dedicated teachers at work. We then met with students to discuss the American education system and answered questions on everything from politics to pop culture. From our very first day, it was evident how incredibly bright, inquisitive, and determined all of the students here are. Throughout our time at St. Al’s, Mr. Apopo has given us the chance to deliver presentations to different classes on topics including social justice and peace, economics, presentation skills, goal setting, American constitutional rights, American history, and U.S. government. During one presentation on social justice and peace, we asked the students to nominate anyone they could think of to win the Nobel Peace Prize. One group chose Father Terry for his tireless efforts in educating and uplifting children. This was one of many times on our trip thus far that we have witnessed firsthand St. Al’s is truly a blessed place. On Thursday, Maxell (Head boy), Jack (Form 4W) and Sophie (Head girl) led us through Kibera so we could see where many of the students live and visit the old St. Al’s campus. We were struck by the drastic difference between the two schools. It was an unbelievable, eye-opening experience to learn about the challenges of life in the area, and it provided us with a new perspective on the many obstacles students of St. Al’s face every day; we are truly amazed at their success. On Friday, we had the fortunate opportunity to meet graduates of St. Al’s and participate in one of their weekly reflections on the value of life. The graduates were very kind and exemplar of the values St. Al’s esteems and teaches. After classes ended, we were able to participate in games with the students and introduced American football to them, which was a lot of fun. We are grateful for the love and kindness with which everyone at St. Al’s has welcomed us and we look forward to learning more and strengthening our relationships with the students and faculty of St. Al’s throughout the remainder of our time in Kenya!