I arrived at the land of “Unjani”, “Yapila”, “Siyabonga”. Touching down from the plane was a dream come true. It had always been my dream to visit South Africa. The three weeks were quite interactive and educative. At certain moments, I would miss home, but, thanks to my new family, I found I felt at home already. I always believed I knew myself well, but the eye-opening experience I had, proved me wrong. At least after the preparation course I became more self-aware. Thanks to our able facilitators – Herinaina Randiamala, John Wamukoya, Gil Harper, Stacey Hoys and Pst.Thuks Khanyile. South Africa delivered by all means. Not just the course work but also through team building and diversity progress. Siyabonga South Africa!
Moving on, I only saw the Indian Ocean from my coastal region back home. I never realized that one day I would fly over it, heading to Madagascar. “Tonga soa, Madagascar ” as they say here in my new land. Initially, I was to arrive in Madagascar with my other teammates from my new YAC family I met in SA but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. They were scheduled to arrive after a week only. Alone in a foreign country…that was not easy. It was the longest and psychologically torturous week. Living alone, not understanding the language they speak, and so on. Again…. learning is all part of life’s many experiences and journey.
In the one week, I made new friends. It’s not every day that you’ll see streets packed with sales people, same size roads in almost or if not in the whole country. Madagascar has that for you. People here have the most beautiful of smiles. Their enthusiasm and dynamics will make you love them even more. However, in every good place, there’s just got to be those who challenge the status quo. Losing my phone in this place was really devastating because it was my form of contact to my loved ones back home. Somehow though, life has to go on. As I said in the beginning, challenges are there, that is how we learn.
In conclusion, my time so far with the YMCA Madagascar has been and still is a pleasure. The programs we indulge in from time to time I believe, will build me into a better being to be able to make a more valuable contribution as a citizen in my own country.
I also thank my Kenya YMCA, Africa Alliance YMCA and FK Norway for giving me the opportunity through this YAC program. I am humbled. All thanks goes to our Almighty God, for without Him, none of this would seem possible.
Kwaheri, Usale Kahle, Veloma
Lorine Amondi is Kenyan YAC 2017 participant currently stationed in Madagascar.