Great Expectations for Young and Old on First Kenya Experience

This coming Saturday, 18th May, Derby County Community Trust (DCCT) are embarking on their eighth trip to Kenya with African Adventures! There is much excitement and anticipation amongst the group; the enthusiasm never wanes with this amazing bunch, as we have learnt over the years.

There are some exciting additions to the group this year, most notably eight-year-old twins Harry and Oliver, who are travelling for the first time with their parents Luke and Hayley Newman. Luke has been a highly committed volunteer for DCCT over the years; he is the brother of Paul Newman, who is the Community Manager at DCCT, and the spearhead of the Kenya trip each year. Indeed, the trips have become a real family affair, with eight Newmans travelling this year, including Paul and Luke’s dad. What an incredible experience for the Newman children to have – something which we are sure more children of their generation would benefit from, having seen the impact on the many students who have taken school expeditions with us over the years. We can’t wait to hear about the experience from their point of view on DCCT’s return.

Dave Hadfield is preparing for his first Kenya experience

Dave Hadfield is preparing for his first Kenya experience

Another exciting addition to the DCCT group for 2019 is 67-year-old Dave Hadfield, father of one of the African Adventures team here in the UK. We were fortunate enough to grab a few minutes of his time to ask him about his reasons for going, his expectations of the experience ahead, and how he feels about joining DCCT – here is what he told us:

“The opportunity to travel has, to me, always been something to be grasped and enjoyed. The fact that two of my daughters (one of whom works for African Adventures) have previously been out to projects in Africa and have been positively affected by their experiences acted as an incentive to get on and do the same. I am also lucky enough to have taught the MD, Dan Mew, and I am interested to see something of what he is achieving.

The thing that I am most looking forward to is also the thing that worries me most – it is the emotional connection with what I am going to see and experience. I taught geography for much of my working life and attempted whilst doing so to get pupils to appreciate and understand how their life would be different if they lived in the slums of Rio de Janeiro or Calcutta. When it came down to it though – how much did I understand? I know I’ve been lucky in my life (when and where I was born) but this trip should enable me to have a greater understanding.

At the same time as being excited I am also concerned about stepping into the ‘unknown’ thousands of miles from home. The fact that I am doing the trip with Paul Newman and DCCT is very comforting and gives me a great deal of confidence that I will get as much as is possible out of the two weeks. I am pleased to say that I am feeling well prepared. The support offered by African Adventures and by Paul Newman at the DCCT has been both valuable and informative.

The words that sum up my current feelings are: excited, interested, positive, curious, reflective, determined, emotional, humble, and thirsty (for the experience and the knowledge).

I look forward to speaking to you again when I return, to share with you the outcomes of the experience.”

Dave's first Kenya experience will be with DCCT

Dave is lucky to be travelling with such an experienced group in DCCT.

Paul Newman told us of his feelings at having an honorary Ram join their trip:

“We’re absolutely delighted that Dave is joining our Rams in Kenya 2019 trip.  Having got to know him a little over the last few months, I’m certain that he’ll bring invaluable skills and experience to our trip which will complement our group and enhance the impact we are able to make in the local communities.  And we hope that by joining us on what will be our eighth trip with African Adventures, our experience will help Dave have the best possible time in Kenya.”

Dan, Our MD, kindly offered some words of encouragement ahead of Dave’s travels:

“It’s funny how life works out sometimes. When I was at school, I never thought that Mr Hadfield (or Dave, as I am now told to call him!) would one day end up travelling to Africa with a volunteer company that I set up.

I can only hope that his experience of Kenya with us this month has the same kind of positive impact that he had on me as my old football coach.

Safari njema, Mr Hadfield.”

We are very grateful to Dave for sharing his thoughts with us, and to Paul and the DCCT team for welcoming him to share the experience with them. We can’t wait to hear all about your trip and what you manage to achieve in support of our partner projects.

Before you leave, why not watch the Rams in Kenya video from their last trip, in 2018.