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Please go and see the first of the ABC News pieces on this trip and stay tuned for more! See it here:

Dear all,

We write to you from the beautiful Indian Ocean town of Mombasa at a lovely seaside resort carefully picked for us by our team leaders. Here the team has finally had some extended time for rest, relaxation and integration of their experience so far. Up to now the pace has been very hectic with changes occurring regularly to schedules broken by traffic, delays and typical African circumstances. Two days of rest feels like a week and we are all so grateful. We also have wi-fi, a wonderful bonus and many families and friends have been able to hear first hand from loved ones because of it.

As we prepare for our journey back to Nairobi and the simple two-bed-mostly-cold-water-sometimes-lacking-power-entirely accommodations of the Amani Centre, our Nairobi home, we again reflect on the great differences of life for the privileged and under-privileged people of this world. We ask ourselves questions about meaning and value as we see yet again that Kenya is a place of great riches…and little money. Yesterday we visited a rehabilitation centre run by the Association of People with Physical Disabilities Kenya (APDK) and are again humbled by colleagues who manage to do so much with so little. Supporting state run hospitals in inpatient post-operative care and outpatient rehabilitation for children 2-18, undergoing clubfoot repairs, surgeries to stabilize spina bifida, and other congenital deformities, they do physical therapy on mattresses lined on the floor, make braces using parts from old pieces, build wheelchairs from gathered parts and find funds to supplement all their operational costs as the state can only supply salary for personnel (and too few at that). All the team who attended that visit were amazed at how much is done there including a new vegetable garden often picked clean by the monkeys! We hope to build an ongoing relationship with the center and perhaps create a site for service work reaching beyond the relative resource and privilege of Nairobi. As ever, our Kenyan hosts seem to go out of their way to support our work and efforts and are grateful for our contributions of blankets, toys, personal hygiene kits and love. One of our team members, ‘Kenzie, with typical care provided us all with fingernail polish to paint the kids nails and that has been a relationship builder and made us all very popular!

Today the team will reflect on focus questions as they prepare their minds and heart to return to the US. I attach the questionnaire below so you may also see what they are considering and perhaps better support them as they return home.

We thank you for your contributions and love and know that somehow, someway together, we make a world of difference!


Melanie Carlone, DPT Clinical Coordinator

Be The Difference Team Kenya 2013


Be The Difference Team Kenya 2013

Our vision in preparing this time for you is that we are committed to education that positively affects worldwide well-being. In order to better understand how this trip was for you and how we might improve, we need your honest feedback. You may remain anonymous. Take as much room and pages as you need. ASANTI SANA!

Consider Expansion and Contraction phases in our lives: expansion phases are times we “step outside ourselves” to learn and grow and experience the world. During these times we might experience losing our previous sense of self and seeing a larger purpose and world view. Contraction times are when we take our self-awareness and self-definition experienced during expansion phases back inside and possibly reconsider who we are or who we want to be.


1. Core values are the guiding principles that dictate behavior and action. Some examples of core values from our team vision statement include: Service, Inspired Compassionate Collaboration, Simple, clear communication, Do it with Joy and Inspiration, Accountable and Responsible to one another, Respect, Listen to understand, Integrity. What core values do you think this trip has defined or strengthened in you?

2. What part of this experience do you want to anchor or ground internally and take back with you?

3. How will you do that?

4. In general did this experience adhere to our vision? What worked well for you personally? What needs to be improved?

5. How will this trip affect your ongoing learning education and practice? Please indicate if you are a DPT student or not.

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