Mary Lloyd Triplett Zaiser – KEST Founder and Director
I was first introduced to Father D’Agostino, Nyumbani’s founder, in 2004 through my work at the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, MD. He challenged me to visit Kenya and see some of his projects addressing problems such as HIV/AIDS and orphaned children. It was my first trip in 2006 that inspired me to start KEST and introduce Americans to the beautiful country of Kenya. I am continually motivated by the generosity and spirit of my Kenyan friends, and the serendipitous meetings that have expanded KEST’s trips and our missions. I look forward to years ahead of making new friends and growing the KEST village – won’t you join me?
It seems that every pursuit I have followed in my adult life has led me to KEST:
- Undergraduate degree in Special Education from Hood College, very essential knowledge when teaching children of the world;
- Masters degree in Social Foundations of Education from the University of Virginia, studying educational systems from different global cultures;
- Camp Counselor for many years, working with children of all ages teaching crafts and, among other things, learned how to be creative with the materials at hand which is a very valuable skill when working with the limited supplies of third world countries;
- Ten years experience as a trip planner and tour leader for a senior citizens center in Rockville, Maryland, where I designed trips for travelers with specificneeds while perfecting my planning skills and learning the value of abundant patience;
- Twenty-plus years of organizing events including small social gatherings, field trips, community service projects, college counseling events for students and parents, school fairs, and large-scale school fund-raising galas;
- Four years as Director of Student Activities and Community Service Coordinator, including global outreach programs and global education for the Upper School students and faculty at the Holton-Arms School;
- Numerous trips to Kenya to volunteer at Nyumbani programs, becoming very acquainted with the projects and staff at the Children’s Home, the Lea Toto Outreach Programs, and the Nyumbani Village in Kitui;
- Development of attachments to several Maasai communities which in turn enhance the KEST experience
- Experience numerous safaris in Kenya through Spurwing Travel, on in which I had the time of my life;
- Most valuable experience and training ground: being a wife to Bill; a mother to Megan and Tyler; and a sho sho to Madison! It has been an honor to share Kenya with them.
Justus Mwaka Musia – KEST Trip Assistant & Transportation Coordinator
Justus has been the driver for KEST groups for over eight years, as a staff member at Spurwing Travel and Tour. In this capacity, Justus has made a big impression on both KEST travelers and the people at the places KEST serves. It only seemed appropriate to ask Justus to join the KEST Team as Lloydie’s Trip Assistant and the Transportation Coordinator. Justus brings a knowledge of Kenya’s culture and wildlife to his job, as well as a willingness to assist in any and all projects sponsored by KEST in Kenya. Year round, he keeps the wheels turning on KEST and traveler funded work. This is very important task, a huge responsibility and can only be entrusted to an honorable and trustworthy person, which describes Justus perfectly! Through Justus’ dedication to his country and KEST, so much more can be accomplished for communities of need in Kenya. It is an honor to welcome Justus aboard as he helps make KEST’s dreams a reality!
Lucy Millicah Nguli– KEST Volunteer Administrative Assistant and Accounts Officer
Lucy has been volunteering with KEST for four years while pursuing her Bachelors of Commerce at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. The primary focus of her work with KEST will be to set up shadow files of those located in America, as KEST moves forward to relocating the headquarters of its operations to Kenya. In addition to teaming with Justus Mwaka Musia in making each KEST adventure the best that it can be, Lucy will create a more efficient accounting system so every expenditure is tracked. With her travel experience with KEST; her extensive knowledge of Nyumbani Programs, especially Nyumbani Village and Lea Toto sites; and her degree in commerce, Lucy will be a great asset to KEST and a much needed member of Team KEST. Welcome aboard, Lucy!
Megan Mullally – Assistant Director for Educational Programming
Megan, a certified elementary school teacher, acts as a consultant for developing and coordinating the educational components of the four-week KEST service trip to the Nyumbani Village. She helps ensure that each traveler has the resources necessary to successfully lead the after-school Young Ambassadors Club, which includes assisting with the design of the program curriculum. In the summer of 2009, Megan collaborated with the Children’s Culture Connection implementing the Young Ambassadors Club at the Nyumbani Village. Megan is a graduate of Bucknell University and has obtained her M.A. in Reading Education from Johns Hopkins University.
Bill Zaiser – Accounting
Bill is the official financial advisor for KEST. He graciously dedicates his “spare time” to maintaining the books. He assists Lloydie in finalizing trip budgets and planning the financial components of KEST service projects. Bill is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and has a Masters from the University of Maryland. He is currently an active Certified Public Accountant.