On May 5th, 2018, I graduated from the University with a Bachelors degree in Business: Marketing, and on May 6th, 2018, I boarded a plane with a final destination of Nairobi, Kenya. Prior to this experience, my abroad travels were limited to cruises and one round trip to the Dominican Republic. I had always wanted to study abroad and began to accept that it would never happen until I received an email the December before my final semester that changed everything. My time in Kenya lasted for a duration of approximately 3.5 weeks. During our time there we met amazing people, saw amazing things and had out-of-this-world experiences.
The mission of this trip was to work in a collaborative effort with entrepreneurs in Limuru, Kenya, in order to develop new strategies for their respective businesses. We were divided into small teams of 2-3 and each assigned to a specific entrepreneur, all of whom suffer from HIV/AIDS and have graduated from a 9-month program through an organization called Care for Aids. I spent the month working with a man named James who is a Carpenter. I think one of the most memorable experiences of the entire trip was sitting with James outside at his small workshop and talking with him about his life, and ours. His spirit is one that has left an everlasting impact on me.
After nearly a month of consultations, team meetings, and getting to know James and his business on a personal level, we made our final suggestions for his carpentry business, Matibo Furniture (Matibo is the place he is originally from). The suggestions included incorporating an order form, business cards, branding, referral method, etc. into his small business. My team had a translator by the name of Martin who we also grew close relationships with. The process was not easy and it took multiple peaks and valleys to get to the ending result that we did, but the end result and the relationships with these two men that we were each able to build was invaluable.
Aside from the work that we did, the most memorable part of our trip was going to the Massai Mara Reserve for a weekend of safari! It was without a doubt one of the best experiences of my entire life and I feel so blessed to have gotten to check it off my bucket list so early in life. The images of a fiery sunset nestling into the plains, a herd of wild elephants crossing our path, a family of cheetahs lying in the tall grass, and many others will forever be engraved in my brain.
Anna Sinders graduated in May, 2018 with a Marketing degree. She participated in a faculty-led trip to Kenya through the College of Business and Honors College in May, 2018. Anna had the following to say about her trip to Kenya, “It was a trip of a lifetime and I am so thankful for the opportunity.”
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