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Category: Travel

My Africa Diaries: The Little Things

My first full day in Nairobi, as with any first visit to a foreign country, was full of little observations – the similarities and the differences. The Bathrooms: Public bathrooms all have ceiling-to-floor doors. I’ve only ever seen them this widespread on cruise ships before. Not sure if it’s privacy, security, or just some weird throwback British custom from colonial days. I wanted to see if the water rotated the “other” way, but most toilets have too little water to tell. The Cityscape: Few skyscrapers, many trees. Lush and a bit run down in many places. The noises about are…

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My Africa Diaries: The Journey Out

It’s my first full day in Nairobi today, which means that I’m just 12 hours off of my longest travel stretch ever. The journey to Nairobi required a 10-hour flight to Amsterdam, a 3+ hour layover, a 1-hour flight delay on the plane, and another 8-hour flight from AMS to NBO. This was my first time flying on an Airbus 330 since my recent experience flying and landing one in the full-on simulator back in February. It was strangely comforting thinking that – god forbid something happened to the plane – I was not entirely unprepared to help. Strange life…

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My Africa Diaries: Prologue

Back in December, I was browsing the internal Microsoft forums (Yammer) and stumbled across an announcement for a new volunteer outreach program – MySkills4Afrika, part of the larger Microsoft for Afrika program. They were accepting applications from full-time employees to share their skills and expertise to energize the tech industry and entrepreneurship in Africa. Instantly, the posting spoke to me in that way you can’t quite ignore, even though travel or outreach to Africa never seemed like a realistic possibility for me up until that moment. Out of curiosity, I searched the available opportunities and discovered there were in fact…

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