I know I promised to make a daily update of my stay in DC,& but we all know how many of these writing promises I really keep so let me not waste any of your time trying to make another empty promise also am experiencing abit of a brain freeze, literally.
Today is day four, I have been up to a lot of good and walking.
I am also mad at my phone for being out of battery the day we did a tour of the town on a tour bus, am also mad at American sockets because they are too tiny for my Ugandan phone charger but more than that, am so grateful to be in a position to be mad about those things, also I miss matooke!
Where were we?
But first how are you doing the people I love for reading my blog?
Today I figured I should let you in on a few lessons I have learnt from this place.
1. Believe in something.
So we met the vice president Africa region of The World Bank Group on Monday.
Pretty awesome, (like go-down-in-history-books-kind of awesome) but all he and everyone wanted to know was why we came to DC, what inspired us to write our essays and more importantly what can the World Bank do to help us accomplish those dreams and ideas we wrote about.
Sounds like a question of a lifetime right?
It’s only as good as if you believe in something.
I have met extremely sharp amazing young people from Kenya, Rwanda, and of course my team mate from Uganda.
And the moment I heard these guys speak about their passions, I was in awe.
I am beyond grateful I get to hang out with these guys for another four days, they are a fountain of knowledge.
So go find yourself a great cause and believe in it so when someone asks you make a believer out of them as well.
2. It truly is a small world.
Yesterday we attended a meeting on The Youth Transforming Africa at the George Washington University Business School. (Damn: This university makes mine look like child’s play and we didn’t even visit the entire campus any way we shall overcome some day )
The point is there was a panel of young African people sharing their ideas on how we transform Africa and one particularly stood out for me.
Her name is Nosarieme Garrick.
A writer, filmmaker and entrepreneur whois on a campaign about changing the perception the rest of the world has about Africa. It’s a platform she calls ”My Africa is”, and they go around the continent filming stories of Africa by Africans aimed at casting Africa in the beautiful light it is.
So I remembered my koikoiUg people who have a similar campaign for Uganda and it was particularly exciting to find someone who thinks like them and is doing her work on a bigger platform.
Small world right?
So of course I got her contact and asked if a partnership with koikoiUg is something that would interest her.
She said yes.
The story of Uganda untainted by corruption and political turmoil is what the world needs to see.
3. The World is looking for solutions.
Everybody watches the news okay? And by everybody I mean the people we have met here.
So everyone one knows about the poor infrastructure, 30 year presidency, poverty and unemployment levels and all our wail worthy African problems.
Now they want solutions.
Another amazing lady Rahama Wright, one of the speakers at the meeting yesterday, closed with a powerful statement.
She said the reason we are all in that room is to see how we can impact just an individual.
You see having ‘change the world’ dreams is amazing, but the World is so freaking big, the time zones collide and I can’t speak Chinese.
The point is, we have the power to impact one life by each one reaching one.
My teammate from Uganda is very passionate about helping young girls stay in school in the villages in Uganda by providing menstrual hygiene training and materials
Dominique from Rwanda, cares about the brains of Rwandan young people (not in a carry out surgery kind of way but in helping them find their passions and be creative).
Mercy the 19year old Kenyan is passionate about helping businesses have access to finance and other services they need, and then, there is Jeremy, another son of Kenyatta, who more than anything wants SMEs to survive beyond their 3rd birthday and also improve the quality of their products to a global market.
So solutions are what the World needs and if you are looking for a place to start, your neighbor is a good place, you don’t even have to pay me for directions.
4. People can actually be very helpful.
From the special ladies at the World Bank country office who after I won the contest made sure I was all set to travel, to Lantoharifera, the beautiful lady who received us in DC to every single person on these streets who has so generously offered their guidance on these cold DC streets, people can be very helpful, all you have to do is ask.
5. Just do what you love, someone will notice or won’t, but where your heart lies, therein is your treasure.
Right now am standing at an event where the first lady of the United States is about to speak. (Am sure I will have a lot to say about it when it’s done), but I know for sure that our passions and dreams can take us places, beyond our imagination.
Ps: I love you for reading.