Kijana was fortunate this year to be selected as the beneficiary charity by Palm Beach Roadrunners for their 42nd Annual Shamrock Run, held on St. Patrick’s Day- March 17, 2018. In conjunction with the event, we organized a 9 day visit by two young Kenyans for the run and to serve as Kijana’s Global Ambassadors for the event. Irene Angwenyi ( an International Development expert and consultant) and Elizabeth Akinyi Omondi ( a University of Nairobi student) travelled from Nairobi to Palm Beach County. In addition to running in the Shamrock Run, the two visited numerous local sites in Palm Beach County, including parks, a local Kiwanis Club meeting, a robotics club meeting, downtown West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Island, Lake Okeechobee, the Norton Museum of Art, Lynn University, a performance at the Kravis Center, among several other places, and were hosted to lunch by several friends of Kijana. More about our supportive friends in future posts. We hope to host many more Kenyans in the future as we continue to develop relationships between our two important global regions.
The following is what Elizabeth had to write in response to the question: what were the highlights of your experience here?
“The performance at Kravis Center (Lil Buck and Jon Boogz- Movement Art Is) was one of my best experiences during my stay in Florida. This is because the fusion of movement artistry and spoken word was entirely new to me. I have seen both acts back here at home done separately but I never imagined they could have such a moving effect when put together.
Seeing all the life downtown when we went to watch the movie ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ on a Saturday night. The streets were all lit up by the decorated palm trees lining the streets. There were families walking by and some sitting on the benches. Even kids were playing by the fountains! It was a sight to behold and it made me wish that someday we can have that in the streets of Nairobi.
Participating at the Shamrock-Run was definitely a great moment for me. I have never run anything close to a 5K before and it was positively challenging as much as it was fun. The icing on the cake was seeing so many women out there in their blindingly colorful attire, running for a cause. Some of them had their kids in strollers and they ran the whole way pushing them! I am not much of a sports person but I definitely want to be like them when I grow up.
Attending the Northside Kiwanis Club meeting where Ms. Peppers had some very delightful and insightful things to say. Not to mention, she started her speech quoting Robert Frost’s Poem, ‘The Road Not Taken’. I was utterly amazed by her spirit. She talked of how the old should take care of the young by ensuring they are on the right path in life because, “They become us and we become them.”
I felt quite at home during the trip. This was all because of the wonderful people I met and I can say this was simply amazing. It is not easy meeting people who make you feel like you could be old friends when you barely know them. For sure this made the trip even more worthwhile and I couldn’t be grateful enough.”