Hi, I’m Marian and I choose to introduce myself as if I were in a therapy group. Because this is what my story is about. It is about additions to a continent.
And you will see, some people return from Africa with a pain. It is a kind of stab that goes straight to the heart, that squeezes you when you are away from its people, its colors, its smells … it is a kind of pathological anxiety to return to the continent after having been there. It is something extraordinarily addictive for the senses and for the mind. But, above all, it is addictive for the heart. And it will remain inside you without letting go.
My life took a turn when I set foot in Tanzania, in that red land that dirties your shoes all the time. It is a nice country of happy people and it is surrounded by green, wild nature, life and beautiful smiles that are not possible to describe.
Welcome to Africa. Nothing will ever be the same. Because when you return to your home, you stay with the feeling that you have returned, yes, but Africa still stays with you. And it hits you in the most unexpected moments: in the subway, in bars with friends, at work or with family …
And it’s strange because you feel happy to have lived in a small part of that land, but at the same time, you feel sad for not being there. And you think of returning and being part of both sides: the one that is amazingly beautiful and impossible to explain, and of that other one in which the children go barefoot and with broken and dirty uniforms to school. Walking. Sometimes several kilometers. Proud without pens and happy even without the basic food of the day that is so necessary in this part of the world: the breakfast.
And one day you start dream: what if we could make the children go to school without it being a challenge for them? And you surprise yourself by saying it out loud: why not? And you discover that it is possible to involve many people in small actions to get great results. And you experience the effectiveness of solidarity and that ‘unity is strength’. And you smile …
You smile because you see AfrikAmiga being born and growing.
People say that little by little you get far. That’s how we like to do things, ‘pole pole’ as we say in Swahili.
A piece from a collaboration I made for the blog De rastrillos y bazares
Dreamy by nature, tireless fighter, devoted and contagious of the causes that I like to embrace. This is how AfrikAmiga emerged, thanks to a trip that changed my life and gave me a dream: that all the schools have desks, windows, water and light; all the children have books, pens and shoes; and in all the houses there is a roof a bed and a plate with food.
Today my dream is real and it grows day by day thanks to the effect of solidarity.
Tanzania is my land. I was born, I grew up and I’m living here. With a childhood not very different from most children on this side of the world, I worked hard to be what I am today: safari guide.
My heart has two passions: nature and helping others. There is nothing that made me more happy than the smile of someone I have helped out. I am lucky because thanks to the work we do in AfrikAmiga I receive smiles like this every day.
I live in the western part of Tanzania, in Arusha, the city that saw me grow up. Those who know me say that I am good with words, telling stories, but what I like most is to shoot photos.
I believe that education is a right and it shouldn’t be a challenge for anyone. That is why I am proud to be part of AfrikAmiga’s dream. It means facilitating the good future of a child and making life easier for those in need. It means smiles, gratitude and hope.
Our guide in AfrikAmiga. Our support, our accomplice and our breath. The one that gives us confidence and security. If there is an expression that defines him, it is ‘nobility of the soul’. Intuitive, creative and generous in feelings.
Always find solutions so the word ‘problem‘ is not part of his vocabulary. He is willing to help people wherever they are, even if this means that he has to travel 6,500 kilometers away and making an incredible effort.
Education, hope, joy, future, support, work, social impact, growth, union, trust.
This is AfrikAmiga.
This video was made in collaboration with Huellas for AfrikAmiga