By Jenny Batelen

We wished to travel to Kenya for some safari and beach relaxation, and cazenove+loyd worked hard to enable us to step off the normal tourist trail. For some years, I had supported a young Kenyan from Kisumu on Lake Victoria through school and university. I wondered if it might be possible to meet him. The NGO said ‘yes’ and made the arrangements and cazenove+loyd organised the transport and accommodation.

Meeting Sam was an overwhelming experience. This young man, whose school reports I had read, following his progress through photographs and a letter each year, was now at the beginning of a career in design. We struck up a good friendship, helped by his and my partner Rob’s common enthusiasm for football. Sam showed us around his town and the primary school he had attended, which has been steadily developing over the years I have been involved. We were welcomed by the staff there  – there were no children, as they’d gone home after sports’ day in the morning.

However, this wasn’t the end – three years later, we returned (again, courtesy of cazenove+loyd) to attend Sam’s wedding. This was a wedding like no other. Unfortunately, my photography skills were not good enough to have caught the dancing throughout the celebration. Kenyans are born to dance and the only still point in the day was during the legal ceremony!

We were made so welcome and it was a privilege to be part of the event, to meet Sam’s new wife, Monica, and his mother and family. By the way – what do you buy the modern couple for their wedding? Take them to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and ‘buy’ them an elephant!

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