Heartpangs for Africa

There is something about Africa that warms my soul. As a young girl, I was always fascinated by National Geographic magazines, PBS television series, and readings we had in school about African countries and culture. I would always do (and still do) a double-take when I see African art, get warm and fuzzies when I hear stories about humanitarian work to save Africa, bop my head around when I hear African drumming and tunes. Although each region has it’s distinct style, the rhythmic beats, vibrant artwork, and stories infectiously lighten up my spirit, and allows me to embrace the continent from afar.

But then, I scored one of the best jobs in the world, and managed the operations of luxury tours around the globe. Year after year, I would submit my request form to this far, foreign, and fascinating continent. The Okavango Delta, Kalahari desert, Kenya, South Africa, and Egypt always topped my “wish list,” along with every other colleague in my office. Fortunately, by 1998 my wishes came true with seniority, and a few cartons of Dunhill cigarettes to the travel staff manager–haha just friendly (and unhealthy) reminders to my former boss.

Even though I have visited Southern, Eastern, and Northern Africa several times, my love and interest to Africa never wanes. I am thrilled and blessed to have an opportunity to return back to South Africa in about two weeks. This time, I will meet and work with the communities we partner with at Cultural Embrace. I will get a chance to truly integrate with the people and the communities, like how you will experience it on one of our volunteer, internship, and group programs.

I welcome you to join me and Cultural Embrace, as we dedicate the month of April featuring Africa programs and travel tips. I will be reporting about my experiences and site visits to our South African projects and placements, and invite you to join a C.E. volunteer, Tracy Guthrie, who is currently volunteering at our Kenyan orphanage.

For those that are still dreaming of Africa, we hope to whet your appetite to go explore her someday soon. If you have already visited, then I’m sure you can positively attest the natural beauty and rich culture of this exotic continent, and hope the travel bug continues to itch with stronger heartpangs for Africa.

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Comments

  1. MiGrant says

    >Hey there, nice to see you blogging!

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Apr 29, 2021 @ 18:30
👋 Hi everyone! I'm Eryn Fleener a senior at DePaul University in Chicago, studying Early Childhood Education. I studied abroad with API Summer 2019 in Florence, Italy! I will be taking over API Instagram tomorrow, make sure you follow along!
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