Last week my second graders went on a field trip with their classes to learn more about butterflies, various sea creatures, and insects. They sat in a very nice classroom and got to pick up Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches (yuck), hold a tarantula, and try to coax butterflies into landing on their shirts. Most of the kids had been to this facility before, and although they had a great time, this was the third of four field trips this year and none of the kids found it surprising to be there.
Children at Humble Hearts on the other hand, took a field trip into downtown Nairobi. Completely different from the slums in which they live, these children might as well have traveled to a foreign country. Most of the kids had never been to the "City Centre" or had the opportunity to learn about their country's history. They toured the parliament buildings, took boat rides at the Uhuru gardens, visited the bomb blast area by the American Embassy, and had their faces painted. Everyone was exhausted by the end of the day.
Seeing pictures from this has yet again pointed out to me how easy it is to take something as simple as a field trip for granted. Learning it not only a classroom event. Seeing and touching real monuments, memorials, and ecosystems is a huge part of learning that these children generally don't get to experience. But because of a generous Christmas gift from a sponsor, the children of Humble Hearts were able to go visit real objects they had only heard about in books.
Thanks to those who made this memorable trip a reality for these kids. They will be talking about it for many months.