Reading through my blogs from the trip 6 years ago, I realized something. It is something I have noticed from other blogs written by 1st time volunteers visiting Africa as well. There is a much more negative tone. They tend to highlight things that go wrong instead of things that go right.
I have tried to convey an overall positive tone to my experiences and projects this time around. I hope I am succeeding. I have also tried to experience everything with a more positive outlook. But, I do not want to lie either. I have had hard times. I am far away from my new husband and I am in a 3rd world country. Things are bound to go wrong. In order to save you from complaints spread out, I will group everything, good and bad, highlighted below.
- Times sick: 3 (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania)
- Paranoia about what the sickness was: 2 (malaria and sleeping sickness – proved wrong both times)
- Missed bringing my GoPro: at least 5. Every plane ride, walking through Kibera, Bus rides through Rwanda
- Ripped Off: 3 (Tanzania 2x, Kenya 1x)
- Car break downs: 2 (both in Rwanda)
- Times without a shower: 10 days (most time in Uganda, but a few times in Rwanda when power went out) not in a row by the way. Just 10 days I missed having a shower when I wanted one.
- Time waiting because of African Time: Countless
- New friends made: 18
- Countries new friends were from: 8 (Germany, Uganda, Congo, British Colombia, Rwanda, Newfoundland, Australia, Kenya)
- Swahili learned: 7 words (Pole, Toca, Hapa, Poa, Sawa Sawa, Choka, Poomsica)
- Sunburned: 2x (Tanzania and Kenya) One turned into a Tan!
- Forgot Malaria pills: 5 days – no malaria to report. Yay!
- Countries visited: 4 (Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania)
- Towns Stayed in: 6 (Nairobi, Rakai, Kamapala, Kigali, Muhanga, Moshi)
- Projects visited: 5
- Best Coffee: Rwanda
- Best Accommodations: Tanzania
- Best Weather: Rwanda
- Best View: Tanzania
- Best Food: Kenya
- Best Transport: Uganda
- Best Street Food: Uganda
- Most Welcoming: Rwanda
- Favorite thing overall: Popcorn snack at 5pm (every country had this). Taking shoes off at the end of the day.