Seventeen volunteers got on a plane to Nairobi then took the six hour drive to Yimbo where a momentous welcome awaited them. This marked the first FOY humanitarian trip to Yimbo. Over one hundred people from the village turned out in their “Sunday best” to welcome their visitors that had flown over 10,000 miles to spend four days with them. The synchronous singing of the kids, beating of the drums and the dances by the women’s group filled the air. Curiosity struck both the visitors and hosts. None of the volunteers had been to Africa. Likewise, the village had never hosted anyone from overseas. This made for the perfect cultural exchange. The following four days marked the beginning of a strong bond between Friends of Yimbo and the village of Muguna.

The 1,100 sq ft library was officially opened. The only one of its kind in the region. Many in the village opened their doors for visits. Volunteers walked in the village and this truly marked the beginning of a dialogue and exchange. Developing trust between FOY and the village was accomplished during the trip. Many villages in rural Kenya had been disappointed over the years by non-profits that would make promises that were never fulfilled.

A quote from a volunteer “This was a life changing experience and I will return for sure”, Kaye, Glendora, California

On the final day, the village hosted a people’s forum to give everyone a chance to speak directly to FOY volunteers. The overwhelming request was for clean safe water. As one gentleman in the village stated, “… we feel blessed with what we have and special to have many friends from across the oceans. The library is source of pride that will outlive many of us, but lack of access to clean, safe water is pulling us back”.