The team that traveled to Kenya in January 2020 consisted of 7 veterinarians and 3 "veterinary assistants" who had varying backgrounds unrelated to veterinary medicine. That is one of the nice things about these Boscovet mission trips - no matter your background or skill set, you will always find a way to contribute. That is definitely the most asked question on every team I have led - what do I have to offer. And yet, it always turns out that after all is said and done, you will have impacted the lives in some way of so many people in a variety of ways. In 2020 we worked in the field 4 days out of the 12 days spent in country and vaccinated close to 1500 cows, goats, dogs, and cats. We always work with a Kenyan leader who has excellent skills in English. But it is also good to pick up a few key words as you progress through the two weeks. The other days were spent working and playing with the school children at the Boscovet Hope Academy or visiting homes of the Boscovet members or delivering human medical supplies to a local village medical office. All in all, it was another excellent trip with many new friendships formed.
In 2019, I had the opportunity to take a team in January (above picture) as well as in July (bottom picture).
The January team consisted of 5 veterinarians, a 4th year veterinary student, a veterinary technician, and a couple of spouses for good measure. Everyone gets a chance to participate to their level of comfort in the vaccination and deworming clinics. We traveled to South Muriango County on four days splitting the team into 3 groups. They were long hard days, but always fun meeting the owners and kids who just like to hang out with the mzungus (white folks). The members of this team were Dr. Sally Harper (her 4th trip) and her husband, Stuart, Dr. Andrea Powalie, Dr. Deanna Reiber, Chris Norris, Dr. Kristina Chassie, veterinary student Jackie Edens, Michaela Mitzelfeldt (vet tech), and myself.
During the July trip, our second Summer team, we focused on building an additional building for the school, visiting schools where we discussed our Days for Girls project, leading a few days of another Vacation Bible School, and visiting the houses of Boscovet members. This team was composed of veterinary students Virginia Huston, Rachel, and Craig & Amy Boekenoogen. In addition, my daughter Jaimi and her husband Ben along with their kids Hailey, Taylor, and Kiley McCall joined the team as well. The young veterinary students on this team were able to assist in animal clinics where they dewormed and dehorned cattle.
In January 2018 our team of 4 veterinarians and 1 veterinary technician (my best friend Ric Shallow) spent 2 weeks in Kenya working with the 300 members of the Boscovet Project, the teachers and students at the Boscovet Hope School, hosting vaccination clinics in nearby villages, visiting homes, teaching animal health and nutrition, attending church services and seeing the grandeur and wildlife of the Masai Mara National Park.
It was a memorable trip and the 11th team to visit the area since the Boscovet Project was founded in 2008. Please read the past two years mission reports to get an idea of what all is happening in this little corner of the world.
Our 2017 team consisted of veterinarians Barb Foran, Deanna Reiber, Jenna Webeck, Glenn Farrar, Sally Harper, Mack Boyd, myself, and two long time Boscovet supporters, Tom and Carol Curtis. After arriving on different flights at different times we met up and traveled (as we always do that first night) about an hour outside Nairobi where we spent the night at the Wildebeest Camp. We then traveled to Kisii and got situated in the Dados Hotel. It has good safe food and comfortable beds and where they have always taken great care f the teams 0ver the years. This was the year the Boscovet Project decided to invest in avocado trees as source of renewable income. This area is known for its ability to grow large avocados. The goal is to plant 3000 trees which will provide three quarters of a million avocados each year. Again the team visited homes and vaccinated the animals owned by Boscovet members. In addition the team split up and in coordination with the local veterinary office vaccinated 2000 animal in 4 days.
In 2016, we took our January and first Summer team to Kenya.
The January team was unique in that it consisted of 8 guys and no gals. And represented 4 different Christian denominations. We had 4 veterinarians - Mack Boyd, Glenn Farrar, Craig Humphries, and myself in addition to veterinary technician Jamie Huber, Pastor Mark Bankson, videographer Matthew Fultz, and my good friend Ric Shallow. We held nightly sessions back at the hotel and had deep discussions on personal faith, bible verses, faith in action through mission trips, and a variety of other topics. The project has grown since its inception in 2008 when there were 25 families and one chapter to now where there are 160 families and 6 chapters. The hunger for knowledge is very strong, so the team spends a half day each trip educating the farmers about animal care, sanitation, and nutrition. We also visited the school established in 2013 which now has 250 students and 7 teachers. No child is turned away for lack of funds. In addition each child receives two meals a day at school.
Our Summer team included Joyce Zeigen, Teresa Luce, Jenna Bullen, my daughter Jaimi McCall, and her oldest daughter and my oldest granddaughter, Hailey McCall. During this trip, we held a three-day Vacation Bible School at the Boscovet Academy where the kids learned stories from the Bible, arts and crafts, and games in the school yard. The female members of the Kenyan Boscovet team also went through English classes taught by Joyce and Jaimi in the woods behind the school. This trip also consisted of many house visits in neighboring villages as well as many late nights of Scrabble with the staff at Dan's Hotel.
In 2015, a team of 5 members composed of Joyce Zeigen, her daughter, Nastassia Donoho, Dr. Sally Harper, Dr. Lynn Shively, and Dr. Dan Haskins spent two weeks working with the Boscovet Project. One exciting part of the trip that will be memorable is the brief time (seemed like an eternity) that we spent sharing the cab of our Landrover with an 80 pound male baboon while he frantically searched for food.
Since 2009 the membership has grown from 25 families to nearly 100 and is growing monthly as the word spreads about the progress that families are making in their attempt to lift themselves out of the cycle of poverty. The work there continues year round led by the group leaders Lilian Marube, Kennedy Gichaba, and Evans Gwaro.