Germans only know Senegal from the rally Paris-Dakar but i got the luck to discover this wonderful nation as a whole.
I decided to do a social internship in summer ’13 to improve the language skills of Senegalese students – and it was probably the best decision in my life!
Luckily i lived with a lovely family who showed me Dakar and all its particularities. With the AIESECers we made a lot of trips, for example to the old capital, a zoo, a safari tour and all the beaches.
Nearly every day i learned something new from the Senegalese people and my daily lifestyle got another taste.
I really want to thank everybody for making those experiences unforgettable and i can recommend this country to everybody who wants to feel the beauty and the spirit of Africa!
Submitted by Katharina Hemmler
Here is the case study done by Anne for her AIESEC Exchange experience in Ethiopia.
Name: Ronny Mutua | From: Kenya, AIESEC JKUAT | To: Ghana | Project: National CEED Program | Period: January 2013
I had travelled to Ghana on a CEED Program from AIESEC Kenya, JKUAT LC mainly to work on Incoming and Outgoing Exchange in addition to Coaching the Local Committees. I had an opportunity to visit 3 cities where I worked with the different Local Committee members. They were Accra, Kumasi and Cape Coast. Additionally with a couple of interns we were able to soak up the country-side beauty as I moved from town to town.
Having lived in Botswana when I was younger (from 93-99) I had always dreamed of going back there one day to see what the place had become I just recently finished university, so now was the time ! My plan was as followed… Step 1 : Sign up to aiesec, step 2 : find an internship and a flight, step 3 : Go to Botswana and have the experience of a lifetime !! Seems easy enough when you put it that way… Grab some sunscreen and a pair of clean underwear and oila all set to go :p Just had one last thing to do, stop over at a traditional fritkot on the way to Brussels airport before hoping on the plane… Needed to savour some local belgian fries one last time before starting my daily beef and pape eating routine…
Although Botswana is home of the most beautiful natural reserves and tourist attractions on the planet, I wanted something more… something more real, more raw, I wanted to be ”in there”… To live as an african I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, deep down inside me I knew that it would do me good !
The internship description was exactly what I was looking for teaching math/science to youth with the possibility of also giving some guitar tuitions as well The orphanage had just been donated a bunch of guitars from one of their sponsors and they needed someone to fill in the guitar teacher spot perfect! I love math and guitar, I can do both this sounds like a winner
The plan was for me to stay with a Tswana family that lived close to where I would be working. The family I stayed with where unbelievably kind and welcoming, they instantly removed all negative preconceived ideas that I may have had about them, what a relief :p I was immediately told that I would be part of the family and I was then introduced to my brothers and sisters Felt like family to me, I loved them all already
I then started my teachings, a couple of days after settling in… To my great astonishment, the girls I was going to teach guitar to (the boys prefer playing football) where actually pretty darn good They already knew most of the chords and where quite comfortable handling the guitar neck. I was happy to see that they were not complete beginners, no need to go over the long and frustrating process of learning the basics, ok then, lets get down to business We just did some plectrum and finger picking work but then got straight to playing songs, a whole lot of fun! We formed an acoustic guitar band called ”the rockin’ zebras” and organised a small concert at the end of my stay as a concluding ceremony
The math teachings went well too… The kids I was helping where in what they called ”form 1 and 2” which is the equivalent to grade 7-8… We worked on some fractions, order of operations, probability and also some trigonometry. I could sense that they really wanted to learn, this makes the job very enjoyable. They also helped me, indirectly I suppose, to be a better teacher (not that I have any kind of degree in teaching). What they were doing was really easy for me, so I had a tendency of explaining things very quickly, as if it was really obvious or something… But the truth of the matter is that it’s (obviously) not obvious when you’re learning it for the first time :p So I had to learn to be more patient and take time to work with them at their own pace… And we got there eventually so it paid of
I am leaving already but I have had an amazing and unique experience here, an 8 week African dream in total … I have created close ties to the people here and will continue to keep in touch with them even after I leave. I love Africa, it’s such an extraordinary place. The people’s honesty and kindness has really touched me and I will always keep a place for them in my hearts. Thank you all, you will truly be missed <3 wooot wooooot !!
Submitted by Thibaut Legat