Luisa Maldonado (Colombia)
I started this trip without really knowing what to expect, because what one hears about Africa could be real as it could be something far from reality. The moment I landed in Kenya, I did not know how to mentally prepare myself for the next days or situations that I was going to live outside of my comfort zone, surrounded by a frankly harsh reality. The poverty that I found in the coastal city of Mombasa, I had not seen before in any place; my eyes could not believe what I was seeing. Not a single street leaving the small airport was paved, despite being the second largest city in the country. Rubble on both sides of the road, still water in every hole and vultures surrounding mountains of garbage. It was night, and the only light that illuminated the road was that of the cars. Other times I had helped in organizations or donated to orphanages in my country, but this time I wanted to do something different. The result was a volunteering in which I would be completely immersed in a totally new culture for me, and living with them for 15 days, without understanding their language and without being able to communicate fully.