Kenya Travel

24 hours :)

24 hours from now, I will be sitting on a plane at Asheville Regional Airport waiting to depart on my grand adventure. I don’t even have the words to tell you how excited I am. I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to travel and help people at the same time. I am so incredibly appreciative for all of the love and support I’ve received from my family and friends. I have grown so much over the past year, but I know this is only the beginning. I truly hope that this trip is only the first in a long series of adventures to help people all around the world.

I didn’t realize that I am kind of nervous about this experience until yesterday when I noticed that I was clenching my teeth and had been doing so for about two days. I’m not worried about my safety, I am very prepared and I have a lot of common sense when It is required of me. I’m not worried about what will happen at home while I’m gone because there’s nothing I can do that will change the outcome of any of the situations I’m currently experiencing. Staying home won’t help my grandmother’s brain tumor heal faster and it won’t keep my dog from going into liver failure. I’ve realized very recently but it’s not fair to myself for me to live basing all of my decisions on what ifs. I’m not worried about whether or not I’ll have a good time, because I know this is going to be the experience of a lifetime. I guess I am just nervous about the immense cultural differences and about whether or not I will be able to have a positive impact on the lives of the children I meet.

Sent from Catherine Cottam’s iPhone.

Kenya Travel

The longest seven days of my life

It’s almost time! My trip is one week away and I am having trouble sleeping because I’m so excited! I have decided to use a combination of Wi-Fi in London and data in Kenya to keep in touch with people while I am gone. I don’t want to pay any outrageous cell phone bills, so I will be using Skype, Facebook, and this blog to keep people updated on what I am doing. Please feel free to check daily beginning July 2nd for details about my trip!

Kenya Travel

My Travel Journal So Far!

Travel Journal


I will only  be out of the country for 19 days, but my travel journal template is already well over 100 pages long.  I tried to include questions that I thought were important and that I thought I would be interested in reading the answers to later.  If you have any suggestions for reflection questions, please let me know!  Please click the link above that says “Travel Journal” to access the PDF document.

Kenya Travel

July Can’t Get Here Fast Enough!

I am getting SO EXCITED about my trip!  I am very excited about my stopover in London, but I am even more excited about getting to Kenya and meeting those sweet kids!  Today, I printed out four copies of every document I have related to the trip so that I can leave one with my parents and place each of the others in a separate piece of luggage.  I also did a little investigating and found out that my baggage is going to cost me a minimum of $70 each way.  OUCH!

Thanks to the generous contributions of my family and friends, I have raised a significant amount of money to donate to the orphanage where I will be volunteering in Kenya.  For safety reasons, I will not be carrying the cash with me into Kenya, but have found another way to get the needed supplies to the children.  I have started working on Thank You cards to send to the donors.  I am going to take the cards with me to the orphanage so the children can write words of thanks or draw pictures on them.

If you wish to contribute financially, please do so by Saturday, June 16, 2012 so that I can get and pack all of the necessary supplies.  The link to contribute financially is


If you wish to contribute to help me personally with the trip, there are still several items that I need for the trip.  I have managed to cover my own costs for airfare, lodging, and food, but there are still many things that I need to make my trip successful.  If you would like to help, please visit to see what things I need/want for the trip.


Some of my biggest personal needs are for insect repellent and hand sanitizer, though there are many other things that would be helpful.