I have been back in the UK for a week now and I am already struggling to cope with what I once considered normality. Why is everything so fast paced? Why does nobody greet me with a handshake? And why on earth has my boiler stopped working?....Kenya 1, UK nil! But as I begin to settle into my daily routine, I start to notice the impact this experience has had on my life and how it has aided my personal and professional development. I am a lot more tolerant (this was particularly noted on my first tube journey back to work) and open to new ideas/way of doing things. One thing I admired whilst working at AfCiC was the collective nature of the organisation and the strong sense of community, you really do feel part of the team, a key trait that I want to try and implement in my organisation. It has made me realise how important relationships are, in any setting, good or bad, it’s how we manage these relationships that will determine the success of the outcome.
I didn’t go to Kenya expecting to change the world, but I did hope to make some impact and at the same time learn more about myself; I think I have managed to achieve those goals. I have most definitely left taking away far more than I came with. I believe volunteering is an invaluable experience and one which everyone should try and explore. So if there are any AFID members (or anyone else) sitting at home reading this thinking “Should I?” I say take the leap…you only live once!