Gustavo Maranes’ Diary
Tidal Forests of Kenya

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August 3, 2009: Last day as a volunteer

We started our last day in Gazi planting mangroves in Kinondo. Planting three plots was a new and difficult task, especially carrying the small mangroves from the nursery. I had never planted a tree in my life and was excited with the idea of coming back some day to the region and looking for the trees I had planted. Hopefully they will be grown up and full of leaves the day I return there so that I can proudly show them to my family. Today we had a special lunch, huge and delicious crabs. And after a big meal we had a big event: the football match between volunteers and locals. The local team was formed by young kids but they looked professional and took the game very seriously. We had great fun seeing these kids running very fast and attacking our goal. We had to defend ourselves any way we could, but the biggest fear was the local referee, who clearly supported his team. The final score was 3-1 for them. After the match there was an exchange of School speeches and presents between the two teams. It was nice to learn that the village football team is more than that. It is a project where kids learn the importance of health, teamwork and discipline; once more a good example of a well run and helpful project for the community. It was not easy to start packing that night. I gave some presents to our Kenyan colleagues and felt there was a need to do much more for them in the future. The evening finished on the beach around a fire.

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