Hope for Kenya Trip Requirements and Resource Guide
Trip Cost $2,450
A nonrefundable deposit of $100 is due with application.
$1,200 is due on April 1st (for October trips) and August 1st (for February trips)
to book air and land transportation.
The balance of $1,150 is due 30 days before departure.
Make checks payable to Hope for Kenya and attach a note stating which trip it is for(Oct, Feb or any other date).
(There will be an additional $350 charge if we add a second day to our Safari visit.)
Air travel from New York City to Nairobi is included in your budget as well as traveling to and from the airport, hotel and any other trips we take. There may be an additional small charge for travel to New York City and home again depending on the size of the group.
Immunization Shots (approx. $300 not included)
- Yellow Fever
- Hepatitis A&B
Keep two copies of your immunization records as you may be asked to produce them on entry to Kenya.
Medications (not included)
Malaria pills (several options available). Mosquito nets are provided in every bed room.
Passport/visa (not included)
You will need a passport stamped with a temporary visa. Visa applications (except East Africa Tourist Visa) can be processed through the new electronic visa processing system eVisa (www.evisa.go.ke).
How do I Apply?
- Go to www.evisa.go.ke and click on create eVisa account
- Once Logged in, Select Department of Immigration services.
- Select submit Application.
- Select Kenyan Visa. (single entry visa)
- Select the type of Visa and read the instructions carefully.
- Fill in the application form. 1. You need a photo 500x500pixels 2. A photo of you main passport page with all your info 3. Your flight schedule.
- Pay Using Visa card, MasterCard and other debit cards.
- Await approval via email, then download and print the eVisa from your eCitizen account. If after 2 days there is no approval email log back into the website and you should find the approved visa.
- Present your printed eVisa to the immigration officer at the port of entry.
When filling out your visa application online, use the following information:
Specify reason for Entry: VISITING FRIENDS/SAFARI
Proposed Date of Entry: (for the October 2017 trip) September 30 - October 14
(for the February 2018 trip) February 10 - February 24
(For all other trip dates, get specific information from Derek Bevan.)
Duration of stay: 14 days
Full Names and Addresses of places to be visited in Kenya: Peter Midodo, PO Box 380-40302, Ndhiwa, Kenya, East Africa
Tel/Cel# in Kenya 11254722696305
Peter's email firstname.lastname@example.org
Port of entry Jomo Kenyatta Airport, Nairobi
Make a copy of the main page of your passport and keep separately in case your passport is lost or stolen.
Safety during our trips is a top priority. Team members will always travel with another team member or with one of the Joy School employees or church members.
Phone and Internet Service
Cell phone service has become much easier to obtain in the last couple years due to the increase in technology in Kenya. However, using your cell phone service from the US can be very expensive due to different service plans. Some cell phones with international calling allow you to use your phone in Kenya, but these calls are often very expensive - Please make sure your provider has unlocked your phone, this may mean calling your provider and asking them to do so. In Kenya you will be able to purchase a SIM card from SafariCom, a local phone and internet service provider. This will not change any settings on your phone. You can purchase data at many SafariCom locations throughout the trip. Modem sticks can also be purchased or laptop usage, although many phones have the capability of being used as a “hotspot” for internet use. For phone and internet data purchases, please allot yourself anywhere from $25-$50, depending on your normal usage. SIM cards are available for $1, and data ranges from $0.50 to $5.00.
*Please note, if you have a TracFone with an apple phone that has been under contract for less than a year, they will not unlock your phone.
Internet service is unreliable. You may be able to purchase a modem stick and data for a few dollars a day. We usually share modems depending on the need. Modem sticks vary in price. We may also be able to create a wireless hotspot with a phone that you can then use to Skype or FaceTime your families. Please note that on our Feb 2015 trip it was impossible to send emails, and internet service is not guaranteed on your trip.
Electric Appliances/ computers
You will need a converter / adapter for small appliances and laptops. Africa uses 220 / 240 volts. You can purchase these at stores like Rite Aid or CVS. Make sure it says “converter” not just adapter or your small appliance will burn up. If you are only using a computer then an adapter is adequate as it has its own converter.
For a group of 4 or more we hire a cook as both Peter and Rachel work full time. All meals and housing expenses in Kenya are included in your budget.
Never eat anything that has not been cooked. You can eat fruit that comes with a skin like a pineapple which will protect it from any water used to wash it.
Three meals will be provided daily, along with bottled drinking water for those present. All team members are expected to keep their room clean and help keep the living area tidy.
Please notify us if you have any allergies.
Shower & Toilet
At Peter’s house there are three bathrooms for guests with toilets that flush (most of the time). Peter’s house is the only location you will find toilet paper...always carry a small packet of tissues especially on the airport and safari car rides (gas station toilets can be an experience).
Please take care of any items of value. While Peter has a security guard, he cannot guarantee the safety of personal items of value left unattended at home or when traveling.
Recommended to bring
Kleenex tissues (small packets), hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, suntan lotion, sun hat, bug spray (must be travel size if packed in your carry-on bag), ear plugs, small flash light, towel, anti-bacterial cream. Snacks, power bars are good to have.
One carry-on up to 26 lbs. (a back pack is highly recommended as it allows you to pull 2 suit cases.)
Two checked in cases/bags 50 lbs (max.) each. You will need one suitcase for your own personal items and a second case/bag will be packed and provided by HFK so you can carry books and other items for the school/children.) The second suitcase/bag will be small enough to fit inside your big suitcase to reduce the amount of luggage to be transported back to the U.S. as there are additional costs for a second suitcase if we are required to fly from Kisumu to Nairobi.
They will wash our clothes or you can try it yourself, all you need is your bar of soap and you can use the shower basin they provide. Bring enough clothes for 5 days. Try to stay with light colors as dark colors fade when they dry in the hot sun. Clothing should be light weight and able to dry quickly as it will be washed by hand and left to dry on the bushes. Try to bring items that don’t wrinkle easily. Weather is 75-85f during the day and 55-65f at night. A sheet or light blanket will keep you warm at night (provided).
Sneakers, sandals or shoes.
Kenyan’s dress modestly so we want to respect their culture in the way we dress.
Men: Shirts must be worn at all times. T-shirts to dress shirts are acceptable (avoid any t-shirt logos that may be offensive). Kenyan teachers wear dress/polo shirts and dress pants. It seems to be acceptable for us to wear shorts (to the knee) and a clean shirt.
Ladies: 95% of Kenyan ladies wear dresses that come below the knee so we ask that all ladies wear shorts, Bermuda shorts or skirts that come to the knee. Short sleeve shirts are fine, no tank tops or spaghetti straps (shoulders should be covered).
Do not eat raw food or drink any water unless purchased sealed (bottled water will be provided).
Do not ask for ice or drink anything with ice in it.
Do not brush teeth with water from the faucet. Use bottled water.
Do not enter streams, rivers, or lakes.
Do not leave the group without permission.
Do not pet dogs or any other animals.
Kenya is a very male dominated society and so women and their opinions tend not to be valued as highly as men. At the Joy School this is not so much the case but we cannot speak for all the teachers or workers. We ask that both men and women speak respectfully and think twice before questioning how or why Kenyans do things that you may disagree with. If you are unsure you can at any time approach a team leader or someone who has been there before.
When developing friendships you must be aware of several factors that are common across Kenya and Africa. There is a Kenyan saying, “Will you be my friend so you can help me?” It is our normal practice when an individual asks any team member for money that we reply “all our giving goes through Peter (our host) and you can ask him to see how we can help”. In the same way all team members must be very prudent when communicating with the opposite sex. You may be seen as their ticket out of poverty and will happily marry you; the fact that they may already be married will not be a hindrance.
You may want to buy some souvenirs when you are there. You can exchange $20, $50 and $100 bills that are in very good condition (no folds, tears or writing) and were printed from 2006 on. Any American money printed prior to 2006 will not be accepted due to excessive amounts of forgery.
Kenya Trip Itinerary
Schedules do not generally exist in Kenya so we plan our days loosely always ready to go with the flow. This generally means what we wanted to do today may happen tomorrow instead or not at all. There are also times when we have to be ready at a moment’s notice to do what was planned for tomorrow in the next 30 minutes. Please do not make any individual plans to leave the group location or miss a meal without permission from team leader.
This is a general schedule for our trips.
It’s a bone shaker - heart breaker
Saturday/Sunday. Arrive early at Church of the Nations (we will notify you of the time as it varies for each trip). Travel to New York for International flight to Kenya where we will arrive late Sunday evening and spend the night in a hotel close to the airport.
Monday. We leave early for the Airport and fly to Kisumu or Homa Bay. We arrive in the afternoon at Peter Midodo’s house where the team will be staying while we are in Ndhiwa. The rest of the day will be a time to relax after a long journey. It will be about 3AM for your body clock.
Tuesday. The first morning in Kenya is quite an experience. If you're up early, grab a coffee and sit on the porch for a while. Watch the valley come to life before the crazy starts. We spend the day with the students and teachers at the Joy School.
Wednesday. After breakfast we leave for Bishop Odera High School and the Dago Village. We like to use our neck cushions to sit on. This one is a bumpy road. Odera is one of the High Schools where our sponsored children attend and the Dago Village is where Peter Midodo was born and went to school. You will see some raw Kenya today. The Maynard’s Hands & Feet of Hope have several projects going on there which are a great assistance to the goals of Hope for Kenya.
Thursday. We are back at the Joy School visiting classrooms and interacting with lots and lots of kids. If you have ever felt left out in a crowd before, this should cure that. You will be touched, petted and lovingly handled all morning. In the afternoon we explore “Market Day” in Ndhiwa to experience the sights, sounds and smells of a very different way of shopping.
Friday. Back to the Joy School for another day full of all kinds of emotions as you play, teach or play soccer with the kids. If you are interested, we can arrange for you to go home with one of the students for a visit. It’s quite an experience.
Saturday. A chance to sleep in (a little) before heading back to the Joy School. This is a “no schedule day” as it is only the boarding students who will be there. This is one of the more special days as you will be able to spend longer periods of time with the kids.
Sunday. We visit Peter’s church where one of the team will speak. Bring discrete earplugs if you have sensitive hearing. They turn up the praise to number 11!! The rest of the day is “free time” for you to rest, visit a family or spend more time with the students at the Joy School. It's a great time for reflection and snoozing.
Monday. This is our day to visit Nyatambe High School where many of our Joy School students attend as boarders. An even bumpier ride than Odera. Be warned. The team will have an opportunity to meet with the students in smaller groups and have a chance to answer lots of questions about America. In the afternoon there will be some formal speeches and singing by the students. On our way home, weather permitting, we will stop by the shore of Lake Victoria to enjoy the beautiful Kenyan sunset. We apologize for any skinny dipping by the local children!
Tuesday. More time with kids at the Joy School who have now become our friends, kids whose faces and smiles will never leave us.
Wednesday. Our last day to say good bye to all our friends at the Joy School. We serve their lunch that day and provide some special treats like soda for the students and teachers. Savor this day. Say what you mean to say. It stays with them when you’re gone.
Thursday. Rise and shine, we leave for our safari at 6am in the morning so all packing is done the night before. It’s a 4-5 hour drive and when you get there you will understand why we get us so early. Also quite bumpy towards the end. But by now you’re numb to that :0) We go on our first Safari at 4pm after a delicious lunch. Before supper we are entertained by some of the local Masai Warriors.
Friday. Rise and Shine…we head out on our morning Safari at 6am watching the sunrise over the Masai Mara. We return for a late breakfast and prepare for our trip to the airport. If you’ve been changed by being in Kenya and you feel emotionally stretched, the Safari experience will double that stretch. It is breathtaking to see God’s Spirit evident in the things that are made. This will be a bumpy trip … so be prepared! We fly out of Nairobi that evening.
Saturday. We arrive back in New York in the afternoon making our way home some time in the evening.
Give yourselves a few days to fully recover. You will be amazed how hard you pushed yourself to soak everything in and overcome the jet lag. It’s quite normal. Thank you for putting this trip at the top of your life list! You will be forever changed!
Preparing for international travel may seem daunting, but we are here to help! Please contact us if you have any quesions.