Western world consider Africa to be a one big exotic land with lions on one side and giraffes on another but this wonderful continent is diverse with landscapes, traditions, people, cultures and tribes. If it was not the Smiles Africa experience, I would not have had the opportunity to be a part of Maasai for one and a half month.
My time there was rewarding, enlightening and educational. Now, at the end of my service I could evaluate this time has given me an invaluable experience that could not be achieved in any other way, what is more, it has also given me a positive attitude towards different cultures.
I am not able to speak the local language fluently but I am able to say basic things and it has also strengthen my curiosity in languages and intercultural communication. I have broaden my worldview, it has helped me to deal with people from a totally different background. Cultural differences have showed me that we all should tolerate different people and not live beneath stereotypes but be open-minded and appreciate the diversity.
Knowledge about culture, education, modal life has given me an opportunity to compare different ways of life in Europe and Africa. The service was about giving care and love to children but most important is that voluntary work is mostly about learning and this new knowledge will definitely help me in my future. Being one of the local family members I had a chance to integrate myself into the daily life and not be a tourist or spectator.
I felt very grateful being one of the daughters of my Maasai family, sharing cultures, learning daily activities. Kenyans are wonderful people with open hearts and smiling faces. I would highly recommend people to join Smiles Africa experience for life changing moments because you never know how much you can benefit
unless you try.