Lost Girl of the Week: Irene Scher

Kenya, Lost Girl of the Week, Lost Girls RTW Adventure, Volunteering & Giving Back — By on November 10, 2006 at 8:46 am

When we signed up for our volunteer program in western Kenya, we knew we could encounter mosquitos, flash thunderstorms and potentially, some rogue zebras and gazelles. The one thing that we didn’t expect to find at Pathfinder Academy? Another fabulous Lost Girl to expand our happy trio into a fabulous foursome. From minute one, we knew we’d love smart, street-savvy Irene: she cracked dirty jokes, downed more chocolate than Holly and knew just as much about celebrity gossip as she did about and environmental bio-ethics. She showed us how to use a camping shower (genius!), built a solar oven so that the community could eat dried fruit, read to the students at the school and planted trees almost every day. She even let me, a relative stranger, sleep head to toe in her twin bed after mine became the new home for a particularly hearty batch of roaches (i know, ew, but I had to mention it.)

Irene has become such an integral part of our group in the last four weeks that we know that its going to be impossible to say goodbye. We asked her to tell us, in her own words, what prompted her to fly to halfway around the world to volunteer. Here’s what she said:

I didn’t choose to come to Kenya; it chose me. I was working on an environmental campaign in Washington State and happened to canvass Shana Green, the Village Volunteers program director. As fello tree huggers, we clicked instantly and I learned over the course of our hour-long conversation about her conservation themed work in Africa and immediately volunteered to take a semester of school and work in one of her associate villages. Being pathologically stubborn and goal-driven, that’s exactly what I did.

II boarded a plane to Kenya on the fourth of September equipped with , a recently aquired expeprtise in solar technology and engineering, dreams of writing a play worthy of broadway about Wingari Mathaai, and a ton of anti-malaria pills. I guess that my irrational behavior both in choosing to come to Kenya and oftentimes while in Kenya both attest to the fact that I am indeed lost: but after meeting three of my kind (Holly Jen and Amanda) I wouldn’t have it any other way. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to buy their book and donate to their foundation!

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  • Dellie says:

    Irene certainly was cut from the same cloth as you girls! Smart, funny, kind and generous. Glad you met!

  • carmi says:


    I live in NZ…and my fried abbey (abigailsday.blogspot.com) told me about your blog…see you’re coming to New Zealand just let me know if you need any sweet hook ups. I tried to email Jen but her email address didn’t work…boo!