Africa is an amazing, beautiful, and awe-inspiring place to volunteer abroad. It’s impossible to take in the entire expanse and all that Africa has to offer in one trip. At Mission Discovery, we’ve seen first-hand the beauty and need for mission work in Africa. Whether you choose to travel on a short-term missions trip with us to Kenya or travel on your own, it’s important to be prepared for the unique physical needs, culture and climate of the country where you volunteer abroad. Consider these tips before you do short term missions work or vacation in Africa:
- Physical Needs– As with any kind of missionary work, you want to be prepared mentally, spiritually, and physically. It is extra important to be prepared physically when you’re traveling to Africa. You’ll be very far from home in what will feel like a whole new world. Although no immunizations are required for a traveling to Africa, while you’ll want to check with your medical professionals for your trip, it is often recommended to get immunizations for yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis A, and diphtheria. It is also frequently recommended to consider some sort of anti-malarial treatment. There’s no need to feel apprehensive to do missionary work in a country where immunizations are recommended before visiting. These steps are simply to help ensure your safety while traveling in a place where you may encounter health factors your body is not typically used to.
- Culture– The downside of short-term mission trips is that often you’ll leave feeling like you’ve only scratched the surface of the country where you served. The culture in Africa is a completely unique and awe-inspiring experience for the first time. You will feel drained physically from the toll of traveling across the world to do mission work. However, the culture will likely leave you feeling full and excited to get to know people more deeply. The people of Africa are extremely warm and welcoming. It’s important to recognize that many places in Africa, including Kenya, are impacted by poverty. The divide of rich and poor is very apparent in Africa. Take the time to get to know individuals as you travel, but still take some precautions when traveling in a populated area. Keep a copy of your passport in your luggage. Don’t carry expensive camera equipment or a lot of cash. Don’t wear expensive jewelry. Travel in pairs.
- Climate– The climate in Africa is typically hot with very cool temperatures at night. You need to prepare for a little bit of everything when you travel to Africa. Depending on your lodging, you’ll want to prepare to bundle up at night. The days will require protection from the sun and breathable clothing. Most places in Africa have two rainy seasons throughout the year. The air can be very dry so be prepared with lip balm and lotion.
There are many way to prepare for a trip overseas. These are some highlights that will help you begin to wrap your mind around what to expect while volunteering abroad in Africa. Our next trip to M’bita, Kenya is scheduled for July 12-22, 2015. Partnering with Suba Environmental Education of Kenya, work includes building homes for widows and orphans, leading a Children’s Bible School, and sharing God’s love through ministry in the community. Along with hard work, you will travel on safari, and enjoy shopping and relaxing at Lake Nakuru.