How was Africa? That’s the first thing everyone has said to me since I got back from Rwanda, and it is an extremely hard question to answer. I tend to say something along the lines of ‘It was a great time, I met a lot of great people, learned a lot, and had fun’. However, that quick phrase doesn’t even come close to explaining the life changing experience I had in only two short months. The people I met are friends for life, Patrick and David my AIP team members taught me Rwandan culture and showed me how to be a confident teacher and presenter. Countless students welcomed me with open arms and wanted to learn as much from me as I wanted to learn from them. Every local I met immediately asked me “how do you like Rwanda?” I knew that this was not just small talk, they truly wanted to know about my experience.
I learned so much. By the end of the trip I could confidently teach a classroom of students about almost any topic pertaining to entrepreneurship and business plan development. Learning material well enough to teach someone else about it was extremely challenging, but was just as rewarding as I thoroughly learned all the information. I also learned life lessons such as not being too hard on myself and instead focusing on growing a little bit more every day. I learned that anything can have a new beginning and that new beginning can be better than the past if there is a solid plan. I saw true poverty and I saw people tha were doing everything in their power to alleviate the suffering of others. Finally, I learned that there is a whole world out there and it’s full of amazing people doing amazing things.