Marc ParisiEver since I was little, I fantasized that Africa was just like “The Lion King.” I romanticized that beautiful animals would wander a breathtaking landscape and, if only I could see Simba, my trip to Kenya would be perfect. Well, while my trip has been far from “The Lion King” in some ways, I have managed to find much beauty in both the animals, but more importantly the people here who are filled with hope surrounded by sometimes breathtaking and indescribable beauty.

Kenyan’s are perhaps some of the nicest people I have encountered in my life. They are so anxious to show us their lives and the different ministries they are apart of. I have been so humbled these past few days to visit so many schools and programs who are transforming lives and touching hearts. Truly the institute of La Salle is alive! It is alive in the people and children and women and men who are helped each day through the generosity of Americans whom they will never meet. Kenyans spent this week taking incredible care of us, as they saw us as representatives of those who have helped them. I was moved to visit places and see smiling children who would otherwise be orphans on the streets…to meet men who, through education they have received from the Brothers, have moved out of slums and into jobs and lives and homes…to meet single moms who have found work making beautiful jewelry sold around the world, and able to provide for their families.

And there was also our Safari, led by Brother Paul. He tirelessly worked to find me a “simba” which I later learned was Swahili for “lion!” We didn’t find lions out that day but we found a leopard and rhinos and monkeys and buffalo and zebra and giraffes and gazelles and hippos and more! It was truly one of the most amazing days of my life.

parisi-reflectionThe Brothers, led of course by Brother Dennis, whom we have met have treated us with such care. They have been excited to show us their ministries and have taken us all over the country, being away from their home and work to make sure our experience was good— and boy has it been awesome! Brother Paul has vowed to take me to an animal rescue on the last day of the trip to see the lions— so  I will see my “Simba” after all! But even if I didn’t, I have been so touched and moved by the work of Lasallians here in Kenya, and I am blessed to be apart of such an incredible mission.

Live Jesus in Our Hearts…Forever!


We are blessed to be part of an Institute willing to do whatever it takes to serve those in need!

Read more participant reflections here >