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In the air again

UGANDA | Tuesday, 20 September 2011 | Views [1283] | Comments [3]

   I was recently asked, "How can there be hope when such horrible atrocities happen in this world?" My immediate reaction was to agree with the gross behavior of humans and to claim that hope was a bit of a "moo point". I thought, well at this point in life, we have committed such horrible sins against our brothers and sisters that we cannot undo our mistakes, really there is not much hope for change at all. But then i realized how silly and brash that comment was. If I truly believed that humans were as evil as I was declaring, then what was the point of traveling abroad and doing volunteer work? Something had to drive me, to fill my heart with a beat of love for others, to keep me strong in the worlds weakest moments. And I realized, the only way for such passion to exist, is with thee guidance of a heart filled with hope.

   Many people may know that when I wrote my first journals last year, I reflected about how angry, hurt, and annoyed I was by the American culture. Especially after seeing the contrast of African life to our own. I was amazed at how much neglect we were showing to people who should most recieve our helping hand. I still feel agitated when I see the complete lack of consideration from our fellow American. Like when people shove their faces full with food for pleasure rather than nourishment, or when there's a large screen tv in a home where children are baby sat by the screen. These things really do disgust me, but this is a path that I cannot control and that I have no right to judge. I can only accept that past all of those behaviors, are hearts that want to show love.

   I have come to accept, that most people want to do what is right in this world. Most people really do desire to help and to give what they can to those who cannot thrive on their own. The only thing stopping them, is awareness and support.

   I am not an upper-class citizen nor do I come from a family who lives an upper-class lifestyle. I do not have extensive training and I do not fall into the category of a successful standard of a 4 year degree graduate. I think being an average American, has really helped me succeed in sharing and showing the possibilities to my fellow man how we can all share a bit of our lives and help others in our own unique way.

   I have been so shocked an amazed at how many people actually desire to give back to those in need. There is so much passion waiting to be unleashed. Now we only need the door to be unlocked, for the avenue of to change to be opened, and for our personal dreams to guide our journey. The best blessings I have received in this last year, is seeing how friends, family, and people I never knew were willing to help me with my own journey and give back to the communities I was in contact with. I realized that humans really do want to do what is right in their heart and to share love with people who are often neglected. Many people just needed a liaison to help them get started in their process. I am proud to say that I have been given the chance to be a liaison for some of these people.

   Over the past year, I have worked constantly to learn about connecting communities on different parts of the earth. By directly engaging volunteers and friends with places I had been during my first trip to East Africa, I felt as if I was 'paying it forward', helping people as I have been helped. I was surprised to see how many people wanted to travel abroad or wanted to volunteer. Couch surfing is one of the best ways for us to travel while meeting people on a no cost obligation. One of the best things about this sharing community, is that I wasn't dealing with people who were seeking large touring companies and expensive safari trips. Rather, I found people who were enamored by the idea of delving into communities where most people had never been. To get into the "real" lives of those who are so much like ourselves.C-surfing is one of the engines that has fueled the experiences that people have always dreamed of. In my opinion, it is the best networking website that exists today. It is one of the only places where people connect with one another on a humanistic level. No money, no obligations, safe, and rewarding. I encourage everyone who wishes to meet people or travel to get on and start seeking people who you will find, are very much like yourself.

The journey....

  • I am 24 hours from getting on the plane. Once I start, I will be going for 24 hours on a place and 37 total travel time until I reach Uganda.
  • After 5 days, I fly to Malawi for "Lake of Stars" music festival in Malawi. (http://www.lakeofstars.org/)  This is a festival that has run for over 5 years and is claimed to bring in millions of dollars for their communities and has aided the country in reaching their standard of successful independence...it is amazing how music and art can heal a nation. After the festival I stay to volunteer for 1 month in a rural community in the southern region near Phalombe.
  • Then I'll head to Zambia for another month or so of volunteer work in Solwezi, NW ZA with my friend Jack who I will reunite with after being apart from him for 5 years. We will also be playing in the Zambezi river and jumping into the Devil's Pool at Victoria falls.
  • I will then swoop back up through Malawi, to volunteer for a few weeks.
  • Then I bus up to Tanzania for a short volunteer program and a visit to Zanzibar.
  • In February I plan to be in Kenya where my friend Philemon is hosting me as I participate and organize more with the Congolese Refugees that I work for.
  • If I have time I will be stopping by Botswana and Namibia as well.
  • Finally I return to Kin Initiative where I will stay for a few months until I leave in April to return to USA...to my home, to my family.

   I wish I could name all the people who are supporting me now, who have donated to the cause and who have given me moral guidance but I am blessed to say the list is too long. You are all so amazing. Please know that your light shines no matter where you are and what you are do. Feel empowered to share your unique talents, people will listen and you will be heard.

I will say however a special thank you to my parents and grandparents who's genes gave me life. They have done so much for me and I do not know how I will be able to repay them for all the blessings they have given me.

May peace find you all, take care of yourselves, and take care of your neighbors too!

Sister Kena Mbabazi Achieng ;)

Volunteer Coordinator for Kin Initiative(CBO)of Uganda



Tags: botswana, kenya, malawi, namibia, orphange, refugee, tanzania, uganda, volunteer, zambia




I will miss you my friend, and l look forward to more proof for open in this world. I know you are an example of hope and the love in my heart. We need to open more people's hearts and minds. You are doing good work my friend :)

  Ymama Sep 20, 2011 2:03 AM


You are such a special young lady with a huge heart for people. I know you will help many and your smile with lighten the days of those in need.
Keep up the good work, believe in yourself and take care of you.
I will be praying for your safety everyday.
Love you Aunt Tammy

  Tammy Sep 20, 2011 9:25 AM


I understand your frustrations with American culture and Americans. I share the same frustrations. But I read somewhere that if you want to encourage people to make change, possibly the best way is not to tell people they have a dirty glass of water. But instead, show them a clean glass of water. When you return to the U.S, you could encourage, among other things, the benefits of simple living. You're right, the only thing stopping a lot of people is awareness and support. If you can help:) make people more aware of what they can do, that would be great

  Rashaad Oct 3, 2011 1:04 AM

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