Category Archives: Africa

5 Big Lessons Learned by Living in West and East Africa

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Jambo! mambo! Waka waka! hakuna matata!

You might have heard one of the above. I was quite naive to have had a typical image of Africa before my arrival, and after having lived in the West and East Africa for 2+ years, I am confident to say this:

Africa is big and diverse!

Just like any learning, the more I knew about a tiny part of Africa, the more I realized that Africa is too big, diverse and complex to generalize, and I believe everyone has their own “My Africa”. So acknowledging that I can by no means speak for whole Africa, let me share some learnings from my Africa.

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Kenya 6ー Learning from COVID-19 charter flight to leave Africa

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Since ever I made a critical life decision to leave Kenya, I have been waiting for an opportunity to leave Kenya for a long time when the airport has been closed due to COVID-19, just like many other countries (in fact it was just 1-2 month, but it psychologically it felt like much longer).

Some governments/embassies made efforts to arrange a chartered flight to send their citizens back home, but the announcement comes with very short notice (e.g. 3 days – 1 week, which is hard for someone like me without a willingness to come back).

Although I have taken the UN humanitarian flight for my work, I have never taken a one-shot emergency flight before. Given that not many people have a chance to take a chartered flight, I would like to share some learning from taking emergency chartered flight in the context of COVID-19.

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Kenya 5 ー How to make a difficult life decision

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When was the last time you made a difficult decision? I am not talking about deciding what to wear or what to eat today, but the one which could change your life.

Recently, I had one. The difficult part was that I had several choices, each of which was totally different. It was like comparing and mango, pineapple, and banana, and choose only one (I love them all).

I believe everyone has to make a difficult life decision some times, so I will share some lessons and tips, hoping this will be helpful for others. In a nutshell, it is only you who makes the final call, but there are many different factors and processes that can facilitate the decision-making.

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Kenya 3 ー 5 things I learned from going out on the street 6 times during COVID-19 pandemic

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It’s been almost 2 months since I started tele-working in Nairobi, Kenya where there is a curfew between 7pm-5am (semi-lockdown). During this time, I had to go out on the street.

Honestly I didn’t want to, but I had to. So I did it, not once but six days in a row.

As not many people (even residences in Nariobi, let alone people outside Africa) can see what is going on on the street of Narirobi, let me share my experience and learning in this entry.

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Kenya 1 ー 7 learnings from another life turning point in Africa

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Life is full of new encounter and departure, be it with people, items, jobs or places to live.

The reason I said good-bye to Mauritania (Nouakchott) was to say Hello to the new destination, Kenya (Nairobi). This is quite a big move, mentally (change of my work) and physically (west to east of this big African continent).

Since then, more than a month has passed and I already learned some important life lessons, which I would like to share hoping they can be informative and applicable to other situation.

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Mauritania 6 Finalー 20 things I learned from Mauritania


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When finishing my daily shopping, I used to say this phrase to the shop keeper.
When I got off the work, I used to say it to my colleagues.
When I left the airplane, I also said this to the flight attendant.

And now, I just said this to the country called Mauritania, where I spent around a year and half.

“Au revoir” (See you again).

In this entry, I will list up 20 learnings during this period.

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What to do in Tunisia – country of revolution – within short time

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In April and May, my parents and friends in Japan talked about beautiful spring ー cherry blossom, good weather and foods and new starts (in Japan, school and fiscal year starts in April). At the same time, far away in Africa, I was in a Tunisia, the country well-known for different kind of SpringーArab Spring.

In 2011, it changed some Arabic nations and showed the power of people’s will. For those who are not familiar with Arab Spring, it is a series of anti-government protests movements that began in Tunisia and spread across the Middle East since late 2010 (Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, etc.).

I happened to see this country’s name for the first time through New York Times  when I was brushing up my English skill to enter the graduate school 9 years ago. And this time, I had a chance to visit there, just for 1 night 2 days. Despite such a short time, I could see some snapshots of this country, which i would like to share, as Tunis seems to be a nice country to visit (many people also visit there as a hub before traveling somewhere else) but not much information is available.

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