“Life-changing and amazing!”: Linet (19) and Sharon (18) share their impressions from their trip to Australia
When asked about her recent trip to Australia, where she’ll be attending university beginning summer 2018, a smile lights up Linet’s face.
Voice full of wonder, she says, “Australia was amazing!” Hands under her chin, she excitedly continues. “It is such a beautiful and quite privileged country. I could not help but to marvel at its tall, stylishly designed and well maintained buildings.”
Linet (19) says she has never seen a city surrounded by so much water, like Sydney, Australia. “The Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Harbor Tunnel caught my [eye],” says Linet. She adds “Oh, and the roads!” Unlike the ever-shifting dirt roads of her home, she says about the roads of Australia, “They are all neatly paved and intertwined and criss-crossed each other, leaving me to wonder how difficult it must be for the drivers to find their way out of the city!”
Linet says her three-week trip to Australia was an opportunity to see, learn, and familiarize herself with a culture quite different from her own. “For the first time in my life, I actually experienced the sanity of strict adherence to traffic rules while crossing the roads, unlike the Kenyan roads that I am accustomed to where crossing the road is actually a nerve-racking experience, and if not very careful one might be hit by a car, motorcycle, bicycle, bump into fellow pedestrians or even cattle,” says Linet. She adds, “When I finish pursuing my Information Technology (IT) degree at Western Sydney University (WSU), I would like to bring back home the same advanced traffic technology I saw in Australia.”
Sharon (18) also enjoyed her Australian village, especially going to the beach. “It was my first time to go to the beach; I went to Bondi, Balmoral and Palm beaches,” she says, adding that the visit wes just as empowering as it was fun. She says, “This trip also gave me confidence to meet new people and make friends, as well as talk to crowds at corporate events and share my story.”
As the first time for both to leave Kenya and travel by plane, the girls say they were sometimes nervous. “There were times when the plane hit turbulence and we feared we could fall,” says Sharon. “But it regained steadiness and we would go back to enjoying watching a movie.”
Both Linet and Sharon visited the universities they will attend and met members of the faculty. Beginning this June, Linet will be studying Information Technology at Western Sydney University and Sharon will enroll at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to study Medical Science.
Linet and Sharon are two of three girls from the Network for Excellence - graduates of the Kakenya Center for Excellence - who have received scholarships to pursue their tertiary education in Australia thanks to the support of our partners, Learning for a Better World (LBW) Trust Foundation and Women for Change.