Honeymoon with a difference as couple visit adopted' child

PUBLISHED: 14:13 18 October 2007 | UPDATED: 15:17 12 May 2010

Maarten and Katrine Mackay

Maarten and Katrine Mackay

A SECLUDED island is most newly-weds idea of paradise, but one couple from Royston opted for something a little different for their honeymoon. Maarten and Katrine Mackay headed to Africa to see charity work that they help to fund and combined their holid

A SECLUDED island is most newly-weds' idea of paradise, but one couple from Royston opted for something a little different for their honeymoon.

Maarten and Katrine Mackay headed to Africa to see charity work that they help to fund and combined their holiday with a visit to meet nine-year-old Tsuma, who they sponsor through an international children's charity.

Katrine, 31, said: "All the children came to welcome us.

"Tsuma was completely shocked and very shy at first, but we played some frisbee and that seemed to break the ice.

"We sat on chairs in the shade and they'd saved the biggest chair for me, I was treated like a queen."

The couple, of Redwing Rise, were given a tour of Tsuma's family home in Kenya, which consists of five huts which he shares with his grandparents and his aunts and uncles.

At lunch, Maarten and Katrine were given the opportunity to try out some of the Swahili they had learned.

The newly-weds were able to see some of the projects funded by charity Plan, in the area, which are aimed at benefiting the whole community, rather than the individually- sponsored children.

Maarten, 33, said: "I was really impressed by the way that Plan supports communities to make their own decisions about what they need.

"The people really take the initiative themselves.

"We saw how Plan has helped to encourage more efficient farming and trained nurses and teachers.

"We were taken to the local school where four classrooms had been renovated by Plan.

"It's very basic but you can see the improvement.

Katrine said: "We absolutely loved our visit.

"Although we get a lot information from Tsuma's letters, we wanted him to see that we are real people.

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