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CURIOUS ABOUT VISITING AFRICA BUT FEELING UNCERTAIN?

What is said about Africa?

Are you curious about Africa, but overwhelmed by concerns around security? Don't despair! After digging deeper, I discovered that Africa is a hub of positivity, creativity, and innovation, just waiting to be explored. I was so intrigued, I decided to embark on a mission to volunteer and showcase the incredible things happening all across the continent. Will you join me on this journey? Together, we'll uncover inspiring social impact projects and meet trailblazing individuals who are making a real difference. Let's shine a light on all the beauty Africa has to offer!





East Africa, Kenya

Discovering Kenya as the first stop on my 12-country tour of Africa left me pleasantly surprised. Not only was I treated to breathtaking scenery, but I was also blown away by the young Kenyan generation's ingenuity, innovation, and resilience. For instance, the Kenyan youth are being shaped to think outside the box and solve society's problems, not just chase individual goals. And it's amazing to learn that even the poorest families send their kids to boarding schools, as this is considered the norm.



What's more, the youth in Kenya are not just studying, but they are also unleashing their creativity to build amazing inventions that shape the country's future. From portable Wi-Fi vending machines to the globally recognized M-PESA payment project, created by a university student which has outperformed international giants like Google, Netflix, and the International Space Station with its ranking as the 9th most influential project globally in the world, over the last 50 years.



Kenya may encounter struggles with security like many other countries. However, it's exciting to witness the substantial progress this nation has made towards a bright future. With 23 National Parks- more than any other country in Africa- including one right within the bustling capital city of Nairobi. Kenya offers an unbeatable destination for those seeking to be amazed, inspired, and uplifted. Don't miss out on the chance to go on a life-changing adventure to Kenya- it's the place to be!



Ethiopia

Experience the unique charm of Ethiopia - my second stop on a 12-country discovery and volunteering journey. Don't let previous safety concerns deter you from exploring the rich culture and beauty this country has to offer. Despite facing economic hardships, the gracious locals warmly welcome visitors with open arms.


As you wander the vast capital city of Addis Ababa, you'll witness ongoing construction projects and infrastructure improvements. Unlike other colonized nations, Ethiopians proudly own their land although further behind technologically than neighboring countries.


Prepare for a fascinating journey on Ethiopia's own calendar and time clock. Major US holidays are celebrated on different dates, adding to the cultural immersion.


With a population of over 120M, the capital itself is home I’m told to roughly 10M people, however unsubstantiated.


Don't worry about the chilly temperatures - Ethiopia's elevation of 7,700ft above sea level guarantees a refreshingly cool climate.


Though I regret not venturing outside of the city, the exquisite local cuisine remains a lasting memory. Go see for yourself what this hidden gem has to offer and create your own unforgettable experiences.



Stir fried Nile Perch, spicy lentils, chickpeas, beets,

spicy roasted potatoes, cabbage, and spicy

chickpeas all served with Injera.


Uganda

Discovering Uganda on my journey across East Africa was a real eye-opener. Like Kenya and Ethiopia, the country is going through a lot of growth and development. Despite limited factories and industry, there's an abundance of construction projects underway, and entrepreneurs everywhere. In fact, one Ugandan told me that it's the most entrepreneurial country in the world! I was curious to know why, and he explained that since there aren't many job opportunities, people must create their own wealth by running their own businesses. It's a strategy that seems to be working, as I saw numerous goods and service stands throughout the city.


Interestingly, some individuals in Uganda have waited years to find a decent job even after completing university education. This makes it even more impressive that many entrepreneurs are focused on creating opportunities for the youth and families, through the spirit of collectivism.


I particularly appreciated the Obuntu principle at work in Uganda. It's a belief that "I am, because you are" which is put into practice across the country. This approach of taking responsibility for others and practicing humility and generosity is something that many other cultures could learn from.


If you're planning to visit Uganda, here are a few things to bear in mind. Firstly, Kampala is the capital, and 12 miles long. You'll see motorbikes all over the place, which the government is trying to limit due to congestion. However, with traffic being so heavy, many people have no choice but to rely on motorbikes. The country is home to 56 tribes, with Buganda being the largest. And finally, keep in mind the Obuntu principles of humility, responsibility, and generosity, which are evident in everything the people of Uganda do.





Rwanda

Discovering Rwanda, final stop in East Africa and 4th African country, was truly enlightening. Though initially ignorant of its history and culture, I left with a wealth of knowledge about this landlocked nation.


Here are some fascinating takeaways:

  • Rwanda boasts a population of 13 million people - about as many as in the American state of Maryland!

  • It depends heavily on imports for survival, including up to 70% of its food, but exports some of the world's finest coffee and tea.

  • Despite the devastating loss of over a million lives in the tragic 1994 Genocide, Rwanda has made an impressive recovery. With 75% of its population under 30 years old, it has become one of Africa's fastest-growing economies.

  • The visionary leader and current president is responsible for this growth, Paul Kagame is passionate about sustainability, imposing fines on litterers and even imprisoning those caught carrying plastic bags.

  • Kigali, the impeccably clean capital, is known as the "cleanest city in Africa". Everywhere, roads are paved along with streetlights, making travel a breeze.

  • Perhaps most intriguingly, Rwanda is unique among its East African neighbors in that it has only one race and therefore no ongoing tribal conflict.


Beyond these fascinating facts, I was struck most by the optimistic spirit of the Rwandan people. Despite past tragedies, they glow with a collective hope and creativity that is truly inspiring. It was a pleasure and a privilege to experience this hidden gem of a country.



East Africa was truly a marvel, with its magnificent beauty, friendly people, rich culture, and infectious spirit. If you're able to stay longer than a week, I highly recommend volunteering to fully immerse yourself in the local culture and unlock a world of wonder. Don't let initial concerns hold you back - I promise they'll disappear quickly!



Now, off to West Africa - 1st stop, Liberia.


More to come!



Venida!


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1 Comment


smiley T
smiley T
Jun 14, 2023

Beautifully done, I would love to travel to Rwanda I have met a few friends while on Social media who are young traditional dancers. It's a treat to see that they are so intuned to keep the traditions alive

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