Volunteering Information

Accommodations

Your comfort & security are important to us! We are pleased to offer you several accommodation options along with WIFI.

Our LOFT APARTMENT sleeps 4. The master bedroom has a king size bed with a full bathroom. There is a pull out queen sofa bed. The kitchen is fully equipped for cooking. All the comforts of home are right here including towels and sheets!

The SCREENED PORCH, part of the apartment, offers you an oasis of peace and quiet as you experience Africa waking up at dawn. Viewing baboons, monkeys, goats and other wildlife from this vantage point is interesting and humorous. Evenings on the porch are magical.

GUEST ROOM on ground level is well appropriated with twin beds and a full bathroom. Using this option along with the loft apartment works well for a family.

Our LUXURY SAFARI TENT is a must for the romantic and adventurous volunteer. If you’ve wanted an “Out of Africa” experience, stay here. Nocturnal sounds abound. There are two twin beds, a full bathroom, desk and chairs. The monkeys will do their best to keep you company. Keep your tent flap closed!

DINING ACCOMMODATION extends through the gate to Siana Springs Tented Camp. Supporting our mission to the community, this camp recognizes the many benefits the Maasai Dental Clinic volunteers provide to individuals throughout the entire region.

They show their appreciation by offering 6 complimentary meals per day to every volunteer team.You are invited to enjoy their nightly campfire and music as well.

They are great neighbors! Take a look. www.siana-springs.co.ke.

We recommend that you think through your eating needs prior to arriving at the clinic. You may wish to cook most of your meals in the apartment or none of them. Mixing it up a bit makes life more interesting. William will assist you in reserving meals at the Tented Camp.

Please note that you are responsible to purchase bottled water for drinking. Bottled water is available to buy in Narok and locally in Nkoilale.

Travel to Nairobi

WAY TO GO! You’re on your way to service adventure of a lifetime! Follow the 10 action STEPS below to arrange your international trip to Nairobi, Kenya.

  1. View our volunteer calendar and select the 2 or 4 weeks that you would like to volunteer. Due to logistics, you will begin and end your volunteer service on either the 1st or 15th of each month.
  2. Contact Carla Caldwell , Executive Director by email Carla Caldwell  for your initial interview.
  3. Book your international flight to Nairobi, Kenya. Plan to arrive no later than the night before the 1st or15th of a month.
  4. Email our Executive Director Carla Caldwell to assist you in getting your Kenya dental license. Reach her at Carla Caldwell. Forms are found under FORMS on this website.
  5. Reserve your hotel in Nairobi. There are many hotels from which to choose in Nairobi to spend the night before heading out to the clinic.  One recommendation is the Bidwood Suite Hotel:  reservations@bidwoodsuites.com  +254 727 555 999.  It is reasonably priced, comfortable, and has a good dining room.Be sure to tell them you are a Maasai Dental Clinic Volunteer.
  6. Contact Harrison Kihugu, our private contracted driver service in Nairobi to arrange your transportation. Please provide him your airline, flight # and time of arrival in Nairobi.CONTACT INFORMATION for HARRISON KIHUGU:
    Email: Harrison Kihugu
    ph from US 011 254 722 526 254
    ph in Kenya 0722526254
  7. Go to Kenya Visa Online to get your Kenya visa online. You must have a valid passport. Or you can get your visa at the airport in Nairobi.
  8. Insure you are current with immunizations. Some volunteers choose to take anti-malaria medication. Kenya has no required immunizations with the exception of volunteers arriving from a country that does require Yellow Fever certificates. Kenya officials will require you to produce this certificate upon arrival.
  9. Clear customs upon arriving at Kenyatta International Airport.
  10. Proceed with your bags to the exit. Look for our driver holding the “white molar sign with MDC”. Relax and enjoy your ride to the hotel!

Travel – Nairobi to Maasai Dental Clinic

You’re probably feeling jet lagged this morning! No problem, it’s easy to sleep on the road or in the air!

Your choice. Take a look at Option #1 – THE ROAD TRIP.

  1. Check out & be ready with bags to leave your hotel by 9am. Harrison will be waiting. Make meeting place arrangements the night before.
  2. Sit back, relax and enjoy the scenic Rift Valley as you travel 3 hours to Narok, the bustling Maasai capital city.
  3. In Narok, you will be met by our clinic manager William Barusei in our 7 passenger safari vehicle.
  4. William is available to assist you shop for groceries in Tuskys supermarket. Be sure to purchase plenty of bottled water for your 2 or 4 weeks at the clinic.
  5. Pick up food items that supplement your meal planning should you choose to forgo some meals at Siana Springs Tented Camp. There is a full kitchen for your use.
  6. There is an ATM and a great restaurant called Pizza O next to Tuskys. They serve authentic Italian espresso and pizza. A rare find in rural Kenya. You will be in Narok for the time it takes you to do your shopping and William to do his errands for the clinic.
  7. It is a 2.5 hour journey to reach the Maasai Dental Clinic. The sights are fascinating as you pass manyatas, herds of goats, wild game and friendly pedestrians on a very bumpy dirt road!
  8. Arrival is around 4pm. As you enter the gates of the grounds, you will meet our askari (guard) who makes sure you are secure and comfortable.
  9. Take a tour of our accommodations with William as he answers any questions you have. See ACCOMMODATIONS for details. Enjoy dinner at Siana Springs Tented Camp at 7:30pm.

Option #2 – Going by Air

  1. The option to fly to Siana Springs Airstrip is available and very convenient. The grass airstrip is literally 3 minutes away from the clinic.
  2. Flight costs are not covered by WHDO and run approximately $200.00 one way. We recommend Safarilink Aviation out of the regional Wilson Airport in Nairobi if you choose to fly.
  3. It is your responsibility to contact William Barusei (email wbarusei@hotmail.com or phone 011 254 714 084 202) to alert him that you are flying in or out. There must be a minimum of 2 passengers for Safarilink to land at Siana Springs Airstrip, otherwise you will be flown to an airstrip an hour or two away.

COMPUTER – We have limited bandwidth internet at the Maasai Dental Clinic. Please plan to turn your smart phone to airplane mode or OFF when not using device. Do NOT stream videos i.e. Netflix. We appreciate your consideration of this unbelievable service in bush Africa! The password is in the apartment manual.

BOOKS, GAMES or PROJECTS – You will have some “down time”. Please remember, Africa beats to a very different time drum. Relax and enjoy your time, in the clinic and out.

INSECT REPELLENT – You will want to use this in the evening. This is NOT a high malaria area. You can wear long sleeves and long pants at night if you feel more comfortable with this. There are also sleeping nets over most of the beds.

SHOTS – There are no requirements. You need to do as you wish regarding shots.

HEADLIGHT – It’s very dark at night. You will want a headlight to see your way to `the Tented Camp for dinner.

RAIN JACKET, RUBBER BOOTS, UMBRELLA – There is a rainy season and it can really rain here. If you don’t want wet feet buy some cheap boots (women mostly like this suggestion). Be sure to have a Gortex jacket of some sort to put over a sweater or fleece. It gets cool in the evenings. Cheap rubber boots and umbrellas are sold at Tuskeys Store in Narok.

SWIM SUIT – There is a small pool at the Siana Springs Tented Camp. It is very private. If you think you might like to swim, throw it in. It’s NOT heated.

SUNSCREEN & SUN HAT – We are on the Equator. The sun is intense. PERIOD. You will want these especially on safari.

BEVERAGES – Best to pick up any beverages you would like during your stay i.e. teas, coffee, hot chocolate, sodas, bottled water in Narok. If you want Crystal Lite or something like this, bring it from home.

SEASONINGS, SPICES ETC… – There are real basic seasonings in the kitchen drawer. If you wish to cook in the apartment kitchen and you want specific exotic flavors, bring the spice. If you want Peanut Butter ie Skippy or Jiff peanut butter, bring it from home. There are fantastic “ground nuts” peanuts available in the local stores.

DRINKING WATER – Be sure to pick up large bottles of water in Narok unless you fly in. You can boil water also. We have water pumps on the large bottles which work great.

Bring a water bottle and go easy on plastic water bottles. The plastic influence on Africa is startling. Very sad to see villages littered with plastic bottles and bags.

IMPORTANT TIPS:

CLOTHING & SHOES – Best to pack light regarding clothes! We have a wonderful “laundry lady Lucy” who comes on Mondays and Thursdays to wash your clothes if you’d like. Bring layers, as day time is hot, evenings cool and nights can be cold!! Comfort is the most important thing. Jeans take way too long to dry! Quick drying items are best. I like to have a good pair of walking or running shoes, sturdy sandals i.e. TEVA, flip flops, rubber boots and multi-use flats (for women). Bring a warm jacket and sweater.

DENTAL SUPPLIES – We work with several dental suppliers in Nairobi. It is not necessary for you to bring supplies UNLESS you want to bring something you “CAN NOT” do dentistry without! Please bring it and then take it home with you. There are red scrub tops that have Maasai Dental Clinic embroidered on them for your use while here. Lucy will wash these. Scrub pants not necessary unless you can’t live without them! Occasionally we ask volunteers to bring toothbrushes for the school kids. This is a mixed bag as they do not use western style toothbrushes. They use a stick frayed at the ends which seem to be effective for them. The trees they use are everywhere.

ORGANIZING SUPPLIES – Upon doing performance reviews with our assistants, I discovered their frustration at dentists coming and “reorganizing everything” in the supply room and ops”. Please respect their process of organization even though it might be very different from yours in your office.

RESPECT IN CLINIC – Our team here wants to please you and do a great job. As you can imagine, working with a different dentist every two weeks is a huge deal. Please be patient, kind, no shouting or belittling ever.

ELECTRICAL POWER – We are off the grid. We depend on the Tented Camp’s generator for power. Please keep your plug-ins to a minimum, i.e. hair dryers. We do have propane gas available when the generator is off. Propane is expensive, use wisely.

BEDDING, LINENS, TOWELS – No need to pack any unless you prefer to sleep in your own personal sheets. There is a king bed in the apartment. There are 8 twin beds between the guestroom, teaching center and safari tent. We have what you need!

KITCHEN SUPPLIES – Our apartment is well stocked with dinnerware, glasses, pots and pans. No need to bring anything else. You are welcome to use the kitchen any time you wish. Dining at the Siana Springs Tented Camp is available.

DINING OUT – We are fortunate to have a very good relationship with Siana Springs Tented Camp with the providing 6 complimentary meals per day for our volunteers.

SAFARI – This is a real big benefit to volunteering at the Maasai Dental Clinic! You will have the option to go all day Saturday.

LOCAL MARKET – Experience something you’ll never see at home! The local market on Monday afternoon is a must. You can find fresh produce and basic staples there.

“SWEETS” – Please do not give Maasai children candy! We are working hard to educate them to take great care of their teeth and gums. You really don’t need to bring gifts for the kids. Our gift to the whole community is treating them for no charge at the clinic.

Thanks so much for your interest in SERVICE ADVENTURE. BELIEVE IT OR NOT YOU ARE VERY UNIQUE. With people like you, this world is a better place.

Feel free to email me anytime with your questions and concerns.Carla Caldwell or US phone (360)-301-5636

Safari & Adventures

Get ready to experience your private, all day safari on the Maasai Mara. This is not a zoo; this is not a fenced in park. Welcome to the wild!

William is your guide on this weekend game drive in our Land Cruiser. With camera in hand, view the unexpected through the roof. Herds of elephants, a pride of lions, a single cheetah stalking a wildebeest, a rhino hiding in the thicket. Who knows, no two drives are ever the same.

We provide this safari in appreciation for your generous service. You can choose your time of departure and return with William. Picnic under an acacia tree or have lunch on your own at one of the lodges. It’s up to you.

ADDITIONAL ADVENTURES

Monday afternoons the open market in Nkoilale is in full swing! It’s a vibrant shopping experience.

Visit a manyata one afternoon to learn more about the Maasai lifestyle is available.

Attend a local church worship service on a Sunday for the opportunity to worship Maasai style.

Balloon flights may be booked on the weekends with balloon companies in the area.