Alumni Spotlight: Chase Klingel


Chase Klingel is from Spokane, WA. He is a Freshman at the University of Washington. He is 19 years old and loves to cook, play sports and experience new things in life! He volunteered with Flying Kites from June 16 to July 22, 2012.

Why did you decide to volunteer with Flying Kites in Kenya?

The reason I decided to go abroad and volunteer at Flying Kites was because I knew there was a chance for me to give back. I have been so blessed my entire life and I knew that if I had the opportunity to impact a child's life who had grown up with less than me, I had to take it!

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

My day to day activities consisted of waking up at about eight am, heading to the school and tutoring for three hours (9:00-12:00). During these three hours I would tutor three different children in math, science, or English. These were some of my favorite memories because you really get to know your students. After school I would play soccer or jump rope with the children and then after dinner I would help them study. I could also never forget helping cook with auntie Rebeccs! You must do that if you go!

Lastly, the nice thing about Flying Kites is that you CAN explore! You aren't forced to stay at the orphanage so you can go check out places like Nairobi, Mombasa etc. if you need a break. I highly suggest exploring around but make sure you spend time at the orphanage getting to know the children. That's always priority number one!

What made this experience unique and special?

The reason Flying Kites was such a special experience was because its not an orphanage at all. Within the first 24 hours of being there, you aren't a stranger from America. You are just another fun loving member of this incredibly humble family!

How has this experience impacted your future?

Personally, this experience taught me the meaning of love. Yes, this sounds cliche but it is true. I of course knew what love was beforehand, but it was astonishing to see children who never knew their parents and yet they still acted like they lived the lives of rock stars! This family showed me that having material goods can't give you the ultimate happiness, only expressing and sharing in genuine love can.