Lindsay is Vegan in Kenya

I can’t believe it’s been over two weeks since I left for Kenya with Whole Foods Market! To be honest I haven’t been looking forward to writing this post because I’m overwhelmed by all I’ve learned, saw, and experienced. I could literally write a novel about my trip but I’m going to give you the abridged version, broken down into organized sections! (ooooooo aahhhhhhhh)

One Acre Fund

After arriving in Nairobi we headed to Webuye to visit a community that was receiving regular microcredit loans, training on the latest farming techniques, and support from One Acre Fund which is one of the many organizations that the Whole Planet Foundation supports.

We were greeted by a group of women singing a welcome song wearing bright beautiful colours and big smiles. We then sat down to watch a regular meeting which is part of the One Acre Fund loan program.

There were about 8 leaders in the group who were responsible for 3-8 farmers each. That leader told their group about training sessions, loan repayment dates, and communicated with One Acre Fund on how each of the farmers was doing. The average loan for farmers in the program is $50 in which farmers have a season to pay it back. The loan includes seeds, free guidance, and incentives such as tools with timely repayment.

It’s one thing to hear or read about how micro credit loans have changed lives but it’s another to have a human being in front of you telling you how their families have gone hungry and communities were full of anger because there wasn’t enough food until they had access to better farming techniques and small loans. It truly was an unforgettable and moving experience.

The repayment rate for loans from the One Acre Fund is 98% from the 150,000 families who benefit from the program.

Once Acre FundWhole Foods Market Team Members watch a training on how to plant banana trees.

One Acre Fund FarmLearning how to properly harvest millet.

selfiesSome of the kids show me the art of a ‘selfie’.

One Acre Fund Group LeaderMeeting one of the Group Leaders.

Kiambethu Tea Farm

One of the most surprisingly cool things we did was visit the Kiambethu Tea Farm where we learned how to pick tea leaves (only the top two leaves and the bud) and how all teas (green, black, and orange) all come from the same leaves! They differ in how they are oxidized.

Kenya Tea Farm

CTC International

I am truly daunted to try and communicate all the amazing things CTC International is doing in the community of Maai Mahiu. Their logo includes a hand print because each of the 5 fingers represents the 5 areas that they are working on developing: Education, Environment, Economy, Health and Community.

We met some of the children with disabilities that were now receiving an education because of CTC, some of the women in the communities who could now earn a living, and how their waste management program is cleaning up the garbage in the streets and neighborhoods.

One of the most exciting and fun things we got to do was projects on their brand new Ubuntu Cafe which will eventually be the location of their offices. The Bakery sits on 9.5 acres which includes farmland and plans for a soccer field.

We were lucky enough to build some benches for the cafe, paint the inside, do some landscaping, and taste some coffee from their new espresso machine (donated by Whole Foods Market!).

If you are going to Kenya you need to see this beautiful new cafe!

CTC InternationalThe crew in front of the CTC International  Offices.Cafe UbuntuThe beautiful new CTC International Cafe.
Whole Foods Market in KenyaThe Whole Foods Market Crew after painting the floor.Cafe Ubuntu Kenya

Us in the Ubuntu Cafe after sipping the first coffee served there.Ruby Ruth & I

Me & Ruby Ruth, our gorgeous and gracious host.

L.I.F.E. Line

LIFE Line Products are found in Whole Foods Market and not only empower some of the women in Maai Mahiu but also supprot the work of CTC International. It was amazing to see the 9 women who started out with LIFE Line who were surrounded by dozens of more women who had joined them as the organization grew.

Check out their fabulous products online HERE!!!

LIFE Line IMG_1829Life Line

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

One of the highs of the entire trip was the safari through the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. 90,000 acres dedicated to wildlife that includes lions, cheetahs, hyenas, zebras, elephants, giraffes, rhinos, warthogs, and chimps. And we saw them all.

Select products by L.I.F.E. Line (which are sold by Whole Foods Market) support different programs in the conservation like the rhino conservation area. We met Barack the old blind rhino and some of the last white rhinos in the world.

We visited the chimp sanctuary there, which was started by Jane Goodall, and met some chimps that were smart enough to short circuit the electric fence there.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Ol Pejeta Conservancy in KenyaOl Pejeta Chimp Conservancy

EquatorLionsSafari TimeI’m missing so much and millions of more beautiful memories and experiences, There’s not much else I can say other than it was unforgettable and I will cherish the experience for the rest of my life!

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on Nineoclockgun's Blog and commented:
    Looked like such an amazing trip! Hopefully we will be there together next time you go to Africa!

    1. I think we will be 🙂

  2. This seems like such an amazing opportunity! How did you find out about it and coordinate with Whole Foods Market to end up going?

    1. It really is and when I saw Whole Foods Market is the best employer ever is because they are! They offer these kinds of trips every year! You need to submit an essay saying why you’d like to go and you pick from 5 destinations to travel to. I had originally applied to do some work in India but ended up in Kenya which was absolutely amazing! You pay for your own airfare (which you are allowed to fund raise for at work) but everything else is covered by Whole Foods Market. Nothing is covered by the Whole Planet Foundation because 100% of money donated goes to microcredit loans.

      1. Wow that is amazing! Whole Foods Market is really committed to making a change. They do treat their employees well. Congrats on having such a great opportunity. I’m sure it’s one you will never forget. I wish I could partake in such a great experience. Enjoy the rest of your trip (if it didn’t already end)!

      2. Thank you and thank you for reading!

  3. Lindsay, you are a great story teller! Thanks for sharing and all the great memories!

  4. Ruby Ruth says:

    Lindsay, I always love your blogs!!! ❤

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