Written by CorpsAfrica/Kenya Volunteer Mr. Raphael Kivuva
The beginning of each new day is an opportunity to start again. After a long journey of Pre-Service Training (PST) that runs for 5 weeks, I got a 4-day break back at home saying goodbyes and thinking of the commitment I was about to make. Pre-service Training provided me with a new view of how the world operates and positioned me in a positive mindset for serving my beloved communities in Kenya. Those 4 days were like a 1 ton of sand on my shoulders as I was caught at a crossroads about the next 11 months of service with Corps Africa as a Volunteer, as well as being a member of Kenya’s first cohort group. Since I was staying alone in my rental house, I had no one close to explain what I was about to commit to for the next 11 months of my valuable lifetime.
While in a crossroads situation, I thought of having a conversation with my mentor and role model who stays a few meters from the rental house. I made a call to him and requested a meeting with him, automatically he wanted to know why I had called him. When the time came to have the critical meeting, I was sweating profusely and had visible veins on my forehead. On arrival, he first offered a prayer for me to the Almighty God, seeking intervention for the situation, which helped me to cool and calm down. We discussed the whole issue of committing to Volunteer with the CorpsAfrica/Kenyan chapter and he encouraged me to take up the opportunity without ceasing as it is an ultimate sacrifice to serve and give back to the community. He concluded the meeting with a thankful prayer to God and asked for the favor, grace, and mercies from the Heavenly kingdom for my site of deployment and the time I will spend there. This was the most humbling moment I felt that for sure, my mentor always has been praying for me. My heart was full of joy and my mind was full of optimism.
Adrenaline takes over when one is in a state of coming to terms with the situation they are in. Although I am a courageous and strong warrior, this was one of the critical situations I had to face and come out stronger and more determined. Even the most experienced soldier has some fear that click in when in an abnormal situation. Passion and the spirit of personal actualization were things in which I was deficient during this period of tough decision-making. When the inner power takes over the outer one, it’s called passion and personal actualization. Having a person who knows your strengths and weaknesses is the best thing as he/she can remodel you to give out the best. Most of the time we might not understand what we possess until our close person tells us if we want to know ourselves more ask those around you.
I was able to come out of my comfort and panic zones and be ready to face the reality of agreeing to Volunteer for 11 months. This does not mean that I was in a state of acceptance, because my former experience in clinical nutrition corporate made me able to address people of high caliber. Ignited by the aspect of change I had gone through by being transformed from director communicator to facilitator. This helped me to come to terms with acceptance to Volunteer with CorpsAfrica/Kenyan chapter. Now I am enjoying most of the techniques I gained during Pre-Service Training (PST), especially the aspect of facilitation as it stood out as one of the best skills to keep a Volunteer working better with the community members. Volunteering unveiled most of the capabilities which I never thought I had in possession. Perseverance and using negative situations to climb the ladder are some of the key skills so far, as I understand. This community has been posted as one of the best and has a nature that is fresh and flourishing every day. A community full of beautiful serene and hospitable people who value guests with the highest esteem. Their culture is unbelievable as I have learned that when you pay them homage, tea or milk is served to you as a sign of the love and value they attach to the visitor. Whether during the rainy or summer season, you will be served tea or milk, make no mistake my friend to refuse and you will be viewed as a not very respectful person.
Respect and accept what they offer you as that is how they value their guests.