Such a powerful experience! I was so very grateful to Freddy and John for their insightful tour of Kibera. Having experienced tours of slums in India and Rio, I was still not prepared for the utter disparity between rich and poor neighborhoods in Nairobi. It was distressing to learn that the life-expectancy is only 30 years and that 1 in 5 children die before they are 5. As a sustainability coordinator, it was also difficult to face the utter devastation of the sewage and plastic trash in the muddy paths (wear sturdy shoes!!). However, it was deeply moving to receive the hospitality of the residents of Kibera and learn of their ingenuity and resilience. From the HIV health care clinic and bone factory to the biogas factory and recycling center, people are doing what they can to meet the needs of their community. I respect Freddy and John for creating this educational experience and appreciate their reinvest in the community.
On the other hand, I was disgusted to learn that the travel agency totally took advantage of us and charged an exorbitant rate to arrange the driver and tour with Freddy. The Kibera Slum Tours only received a small proportion of the fee, when they did all of the work. I highly recommend that you make your arrangements with Freddy directly. Whatever complaints others might have of being taken to places to buy jewelry and make donations, at least it feels like you are investing money back into the community.
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