Cadet Logan Bailey from Holywell embarked on a remarkable journey, participating in Exercise Kenyan Lion Cub 2023, an Army Cadet Sports trip to Kenya. This expedition provided them with a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in a distant corner of the world. They joined a group of 20 cadets and together, they travelled to Kenya with the mission of assisting a local school, engaging in maintenance work, and setting up a football academy. Their experience was an eye-opening adventure that touched their hearts and left an indelible mark on their lives.
The cadets reflecting on their time in Kenya described it as a "once in a lifetime opportunity." The journey began with a meeting of cadets at ARC Hammersmith, followed by a long flight from Heathrow to Nairobi and an hour-long bus journey to their hotel. The next morning, they embarked on a three-hour journey to the site where they would spend the rest of their trip.
The cadets' days were filled with meaningful activities. They worked on building benches for the local school, generously donated stationery, clothes, and football kits, and most importantly, spent quality time playing with the children. A safari adventure brought them face to face with Kenya's majestic wildlife, including lions, elephants, rhinos, and hippos. This unique experience also included visits to the equator and a White Rhino memorial, deepening their appreciation for Kenya's rich natural heritage.
One of the most memorable moments was a full-scale football match against the school team, where they triumphed 3-2 in a penalty shootout. The cultural exchange through football left a lasting impact, showing that the language of sports can bridge cultures and create unforgettable memories.
Logan was deeply moved by the trip and expressed his newfound appreciation for the privileges he enjoys back home. He was struck by the resilience and happiness of the Kenyan children, despite having fewer material possessions. For him, this adventure was a lesson in gratitude and a reminder not to take life's blessings for granted.
Logan shared his sentiments, highlighting the broad spectrum of activities and the profound cultural experience. He emphasised the importance of their contributions, such as building benches for the children and embracing the local culture. This journey opened his eyes to a world beyond his own, and he expressed his gratitude to everyone who made this surreal experience possible.
Exercise Kenyan Lion Cub 2023 was more than just a trip; it was a transformative experience for the young cadets. It allowed them to give back, learn about a new culture, and forge lasting bonds. These cadets, hailing from Holywell and Mold, not only helped the children in Kenya but also returned with a deeper appreciation for life and a sense of fulfilment that comes from making a positive impact in the world.