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At 580,367 km2 (224,081 sq mi), Kenya is the world’s forty-seventh largest country (after Madagascar). From the coast on the Indian Ocean the Low plains rise to central highlands. The highlands are bisected by the Great Rift Valley; a fertile plateau in the east. The Kenyan Highlands comprise one of the most successful agricultural production regions in Africa. The highlands are the site of the highest point in Kenya (and the second highest in Africa): Mount Kenya, which reaches 5,199 m (17,057 ft) and is also the site of glaciers. Climate varies from tropical along the coast to arid in the interior. Kenya is found in East Africa. Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m/19,341 ft) can be seen from Kenya to the South of the Tanzanian border.
Kenya has a tropical climate. It is hot and humid at the coast, temperate inland and very dry in the north and northeast parts of the country. There is however a lot of rain between March and May, and moderate rain in October and November. The temperature remains high throughout these months.
The country receives a great deal of sunshine all the year round and summer clothes are worn throughout the year. However, it is usually cool at night and early in the morning. The hottest period is from February to March and coldest in July to August.
Kenya has considerable land area of wildlife habitat, including the Masai Mara, where Blue Wildebeestand other participate in a large scale annual migration. Up to 250,000 blue wildebeest perish each year in the long and arduous movement to find forage in the dry season
HIV/Aids has been an epidemic that has cost the lives of millions of Africans over a number of decades now. At first it infected and killed many Africans as a result of ignorance leading to irresponsible sexual behaviour, as a result of lack of information about the disease. This has since changed and many African governments have brought about great awareness to its people regarding this deadly virus, some have gone to the extent of declaring the virus a national disaster, and including the HIV/Aids studies in their school curriculums. All this was in an effort to educate their people on the diseases and at the same time have them informed on how to keep themselves protected from the virus. This information has led to reduced stigma directed to those members of society who are known to be suffering from the disease. However HIV/Aids still has some effects on the society, more so in Africa.
One of the more visible effects of the disease is the number of orphans it has left behind; being that it is a sexually transmitted disease. Africa has a very high number of infant orphans, some of whom were too young to even remember their parents by the time they passed on. These children end up in homes or the streets. Those who are a bit lucky get a family member who is willing to take care of them. Some of these children end up living a hard life having experienced stigma from abuse by other members of society, and in the long run it affects who they become when they grow up, if they manage to make it out of the street.
HIV/Aids causes many families affected by it through a family member getting infected to have to live in poverty. This is because it is a disease which Is expensive to manage. Those affected have multiple drugs that they need to take in order to have a semblance of an ordinary life. These drugs take a toll on the family finances, as a lot of sacrifices have to be made in order for the family to meet these costs. It becomes even more expensive if more than one family member gets infected.
As much as social stigma towards the disease has reduced due to more people getting educated on the disease, such stigma still exists, especially in the rural areas. Those infected with the disease in such areas are considered as immoral members of society; they are thus made outcasts and in some cases avoided at all cost by the other member s of society. Such stigma keeps those infected by the disease from living a normal life even though they may be managing the disease quite well and seem healthy. It gets worse when one cannot find a job or travel visa because he/she suffers from this condition. It leaves them in despair and depressed.
HIV/Aids has been a world-wide epidemic to this day, however those in Africa are the ones feeling its effect the most at this point, even though most European countries are receiving less cases of the condition. Volunteers are a big part of the progress that has been made so far towards awareness and prevention of the disease. They do this by travelling and organising workshops in interior parts of Africa and places most affected with the disease. Africa has to thank the volunteers from all over the world who come to help reduce the burden brought about by this epidemic. All you need to do is help/touch one life and you may have saved a generation
So it is a new year, filled with opportunities for most. By the time 2011 came to an end most people made resolutions some are achievable while others we may just not get around to. Well for those who enjoy travelling and have made resolutions around travel and volunteer work then this year holds a lot of awesome destinations for you to consider. You can also consider these as potential resolutions if you had not made any yet.
First thing first, let’s give back, make a volunteer abroad trip and help a community do something that will empower theme and future generations to come, this can be as simple as helping build toilets in a place where there are none and might be a water catchment area, build a school in a rural part of the world, help provide and deliver sanitary pads to female students who have to miss a good part of their academic year because they cannot go to school during their periods. All these can be achieved, all you need is to get in touch with a volunteer organisation such as VCC ORG, and have the arrangements made.
If you are more of a sports fan then you are in for a treat this year. First off we have The African Cup of Nations scheduled for early this year that is in January. The event will be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Nigeria is also a stand by host in case any of these two nations is not a suitable one.
In June 2012 we have the UEFA European Football Championship. The tournament will be hosted by Poland and Ukraine. There are a total of 16 teams which are going to participate in this tournament, making a trip to witness this tournament can act as a good resolution, especially for sport lovers
If those are not enough, then from the 27th of July to the 12th of august we will have the summer Olympics to be held in London. This is the event for the all-round sports lover. London becomes the first city to host the games a record three times. This will also offer you a chance to visit some of the more famous stadiums in London, including Wembley and the O2 stadium.
For those that are lovers of the democratic process then you can get yourself to witness the 2012 US general elections. Get to watch the voting process and be a part of the euphoric energy that is displayed by the voters also be a part of the tense moments experienced while tallying is being done, and finally be part of the celebrations when the results are announced.
All these events, excluding the volunteer work will be witnessed by the whole world, but most people will not get the first-hand experience that you will receive when you travel to these destinations personally. So just to recap; give back, as part of your new year’s resolution. Once this is done then join the world in having some fun, and make 2012 a memorable and worthwhile year for yourself
If you are a constant traveller or even just as a one-time thing, then you might have experienced airport delays or plane delays at one point while you were travelling. The reasons for these delays are several; they could be mechanical issues, bad weather, emergency situations etc. When such a situation arises you may not know what to do with the time on your hands. Here is a list of activities that may come in handy if in case you find yourself in such a situation.
Airports all over the world have restaurants and pubs where one can pass some time while awaiting their flights. What you eat or drink may be dictated by the hour of the day, like for instance you may not have some scotch at 10:00 am in the morning, at your departure point, even though your estimated arrival time at your destination it will be midnight. Having a snack before you get on board your plane will pass some time without you even necessarily noticing it.
Browse the bookstore and magazine stands
You may have carried with you a book or two for the flight, but you will find that there are a few choice books at the bookstores that may interest you to add onto your collection. If books are not your thing then you have several magazine stands where you can get the latest magazines to either look through or purchase.
Time always moves faster while you sleep, this will also help you feel rested and rejuvenated by the time you are getting on the plane. While sleeping at the airport, just make sure you’re your luggage is safe or somebody is watching over you and your belongings.
Work / Surf the net
Most airports have Wi-Fi; some of them even offer it free of charge. You can pass some time by getting any work that you have with you or that you have pending done. If you have no work, then you can pass time by simply surfing the web. Do some research on your volunteer destination, or the organisation you are going to work with during your volunteer work, chat with friends, the delay will be over before you know it.
Take a walk/ stretch your legs
In the event of a layover then your legs might be feeling a bit crumped from sitting in the plane the same situation can also be experienced from waiting too long in one spot for news of your planes departure. In such cases just take a walk around the airport, this will provide you with some exercise as well as help you pass some time just be careful not to walk too far away from your terminal
Meet with your fellow travellers and start up conversation, you already have a good conversation opening in that your flight has been delayed, you might even find others who are distressed same as you that their schedule has been messed. You get to enhance your social skills while at the same time meeting new people and buying some time before your flight is ready to leave.
Other fun options
There are several other things you can do while waiting for your flight, one of them is taking photos of things you find interesting around the airport, you can also do some people watching in busy airports, where you watch passers-by from different places around the world. Other than this you can plane watch if you are airplane enthusiast. You can also shop at the duty free or depending on the airport you are in, have a spa treatment shower or gamble. In the long run you pass the time and feel less frustrated, with these activities to help you
Many students want to volunteer or intern and travel abroad. They would like to take up their sense of adventure and visit different parts of the world. The main problem is that most students are either in college, university, high school or are about to join the said institutions. Being in the higher learning institutions means they don’t have much time left to leave the country. Also during their holidays they don’t have the money to travel the world. Most students opt to take a gap year so that they have time to travel and see the world. Unfortunately not everyone has that luxury to take a year off school for adventure seeking. They are normally limited by time and if they are to take a year off this would have negative effects on their academic studies.
There are many higher learning institutions that encourage their students to travel abroad. The institutions know that learning is not only done on campus grounds and more realistic life skills are gotten outside class rooms and lecture theatres. They have setup their own abroad programs where their students have the opportunities to study with their partner universities for a semester or two. They have partnered with various institutions in different parts of the world that have the same course work with theirs to allow students to participate in study abroad programs. Although, there are some institutions that don’t have any study abroad programs and in this case students are allowed to look for abroad opportunities by themselves. One way students do this is by being a volunteer abroad and they could earn an academic credit for it. As such they can do their volunteer work, travel and continue with their education.
As stated earlier not all schools have a study abroad, or an elective abroad program and the students who are interested in doing this should contact their faculty heads to know how to go about it. If the faculty advisers are agreeable, they would want to know which organization the student is planning to volunteer with. The faculty would require to know the history, mission and objectives of the organization. More importantly they would need to know about the program the student is involving themselves in. The program should be relevant to the course requirements and it should be a service learning project that will help achieve academic and career goals. The students should also emphasize the benefits of studying abroad to ensure they are allowed to do so. When the faculty advisor agrees the student should work with him/ her to come up with learning objectives, and a course proposal; how to keep contact with the student throughout the project in order to guide and evaluate progress; finally, how to award the grade and credit for the project.
Medical students benefit tremendously from volunteer medical programs. Although there is much to be studied in books, there are some diseases that do not occur in that particular area and as such the students are better placed in learning abroad. For example medical students in temperate areas, will learn a lot if they go and volunteer in tropical areas as they will get first had experience in tropical diseases. Lastly, research students are also likely to benefit from volunteer abroad programs. As this will give them the opportunity to collect data first hand and see the results of their research. They should also confer with their faculty advisors to make sure everything is above board. Care should be taken when engaging organizations to organize volunteer work, interning abroad and research as some of them are not legitimate.
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