Couple to bring love to Kenyan orphans
Black Diamond: New romance leads to trip to Africa
Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 06:00 am
New love can have a man chasing his sweetheart to the far reaches of the globe.
Black Diamond’s Kevin Albert will leave at the end of the month with his partner of six-months Louise Tinant to volunteer at Kenyan orphanages for three weeks.
“It (volunteering overseas) was something I wanted to do anyway and she is awesome, so I thought why not do it together?” Albert said.
Albert and Tinant started dating approximately six months ago. While Albert had no considerations about heading to Africa before then, the idea was firmly planted in his future sweetheart’s mind.
“Before Kevin and I even met, I had this trip planned,” said Tinant, who used to live in Okotoks but now shares Albert’s Black Diamond home. “I did some research on volunteering overseas, and I picked Kenya because I wanted to work at an orphanage — this one just jumped out at me.”
She is glad to have Kevin’s company. Tinant said she didn’t want to temporarily put the brakes on a good relationship by being on the other side of the planet from her partner.
“Regardless of whether Kevin was going or not, I was going,” Tinant said. “To come and have this crazy life-changing experience and have him so far detached from it... well, I am glad he is coming.”
Albert quickly got his visa and shots, but the toughest part was booking a flight.
“It was a major rigmarole to get our flights together because one was full, but we were able to get it done,” he said.
The couple won’t know what their duties or their location will be until they get to Kenya on Jan. 31.
“We will do whatever they want,” Louise said. “The main part of our being there is to be with kids. To do whatever has to be done, cooking, cleaning, teaching or just playing with them.”
Volunteering is nothing new for either Kevin or Louise. Louise has been active in the Big Brothers and Sisters Club in Calgary and she also volunteers at the drop-in centre in Calgary. Kevin is with Foothills Search and Rescue.
Tinant, who works for the Town of High River, and Albert, a carpenter, both spent long hours volunteering in High River during the flood.
Albert said he wanted to help internationally in the past as well as locally. The carpenter wanted to use his skills in Indonesia after the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004.
They are going through International Volunteer HQ. For information go to www.volunteerhq.org