TIA! This is Africa

By Julie D., CE International Programs Coordinator

Jambo! I have been a Program Coordinator with Cultural Embrace for over a year, and very excited to be joining the Kenya Service and Safari Trip. We depart on Monday (just 3 short days away) and already we have experienced our first TIA (This Is Africa) moment together. The final itinerary had to be re-organized due to the referendum that is occurring in Kenya on August 4th. As a coordinator, it has been interesting (to say the least) to change all the reservations and arrangements so last minute, but I seem to be the only one who is growing a few extra grey hairs. I have learned that it is very common and not a big deal in Kenya to be flexible with the plan (but there must be a plan!).

We have teamed together with a great local Austin non-profit organization named Well Aware, that dig wells in at-need areas of Kenya. Additionally, we will be volunteering at an orphanage outside of Nairobi, which Cultural Embrace has committed to sending volunteers to all year round. One of the highlights of the trip is meeting Brio’s (the found of Well Aware) family, who are part of a Maasai Village named Nkoilale. We are going to celebrate with a traditional goat slaughter!

Emlyn Lee, my boss and the owner of Cultural Embrace, just worked her magic and collected 2 huge suitcase full of donations for the orphanage with clothes, shoes, books, formula, medicine, and school supplies. I am so honored and delighted to share the donations with the orphanage and then work with the group for a few days in the fields and digging a silage pit.

Cross your fingers we won’t need to change the itinerary again and my goal is to write blogs throughout the different legs of the adventure and then post them here so keep an eye out for updates! But if we do have some changes, I guess TIA, and the true meaning of Hakuna Matata…(no worries in Swahili)!

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May 10, 2021 @ 16:02
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👋 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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