Well I’m back from Kenya and it was the most magical week I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. It was a trip of surprises, heartfelt experiences and friendships.
I had planned to get there the day before but the Universe had other plans for me. So when I finally did get there I really wanted to hit the ground running and not waste any of my time there. I wanted to experience as much as possible.
On day one we headed to the giraffe centre where we were able to feed giraffes and learn about their awesomeness. The Rothschild giraffes had been reduced to only 100 and this centre has been able to get the numbers back to over 700. There is something so special and privileged for me when you are able to be this close to wild and majestical creatures such as these. Little did I know that the same week I would see lions, elephants, rhinos including the last two northern white rhinos, a cheetah, buffalos, monkeys and many more. Nor did I think I would hug and feed a black rhino who was blind, but I did.
The reason I was there in Kenya though was to understand co-impact sourcing at its very heart. I wanted to see the story from both sides of the bottle. I knew through time and experience how amazing the oils are for myself, my family and my clients. I also know that our oils were helping globally for communities to rise out of poverty and hardship but I wanted to see this for myself.
The first area we went to was the Lunga Lunga region which is very poor, doesn’t have great accessibility and is pretty much forgotten. This has made it susceptible to exploitation by big corporations.
We had to take jeeps and cross rivers to be able to make it to the distillery and farm. We almost had to turn back.
The distillery was built by doTERRA to not only enable this area to thrive but to build trust with the community. We arrived to women singing a song of gratitude to us and doTERRA. This distillery gives salaried jobs to 130 workers with another 100 jobs for seasonal workers. Most of the staff are women too. They distill tea tree, cinnamon and Ylang Ylang here.
The farm here is mainly for training the local farmers on how to grow the plants. They also have seedlings here to allow farmers to grow the right crops. They are able to buy the plants through micro loans that they pay back over several harvests.
We also had the opportunity to visit a local school and build a fence for them. doTERRA has locals who work directly with them to communicate the needs of the communities that supply oils for them so they can send support where it is needed most.
Our last visit was to Nanyuki and this place is where I left a piece of my heart. doTERRA has a distillery here and over 800 farmers. We got to visit one and help out for the afternoon.
This is where I met Gladis. She is a single mum of 4 kids. She had what I’d describe as a large garden, rather than a farm. She manages it totally on her own. She told us that her first crop of tea tree enabled her to send her oldest son to college. This is where I felt Both Sides of the Bottle and the lives that are changing through producing these oils and also through using these oils.
I’m not sure how you can not be moved by being a part of a movement for change and hope. I know I am. Co-impact sourcing is the way to make a difference in countries that would otherwise struggle. I am proud and grateful to be part of a global effort for hope fueled by love and gratitude.
Love and hugs,