March 19, 2012

Facing Forward and Looking Back—A Trip to Kenya by Marcus A. Ferdinand

My first trip away from the confines of the United States brought me to the African nation of Kenya. I have always desired to visit Kenya, and to this day I am amazed by the idea that I have set foot on the same ancient lands where mankind’s earliest ancestors would evolve into our present form. It’s humbling to think that hundreds of thousands of years have passed since my ancestors have last inhabited this land. In so many ways, going to Kenya was like returning home-- not only as a Black man, but more importantly, as a human being. Since I have always been somewhat disillusioned by American life, visiting Kenya has awakened a dormant portion of my soul.

In Kenya, I was able to forge a connection with my past and that has been immensely beneficial in guiding me to the future.My plane landed in the still darkness of the Kenyan night. As I was driven from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to my hotel, I was amazed by the level of development that Nairobi has reached. For the first time in my life, I saw the modern face of Africa. In many ways, the streets of Nairobi were no different than those of any other city that I have had the pleasure to visit. They were filled with shops, vendors, car dealerships, skyscrapers, hotels and anything else that one would expect to find in a modern capitol. This picture of a vibrant and modernizing Africa is typically not shown in the Western media...(click here to read full trip report)

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