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Hussam Hussein
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Hi and thanks for visiting my profile :) My name is Hussam, I'm a blogger-researcher-journalist, member of the European Youth Press’ Middle East and North Africa Committee (MENAC). I studied in Italy (Trieste/Gorizia), England (SOAS, London), and Poland (College of Europe). Academically, my background is mainly in Diplomacy and International Relations, with a focus on Environment. My interests are climate change, water, development and international cooperation.


My first African experience: Uganda

Published 05th August 2010 - 26 comments - 2463 views -

Travelling around on bodabodas, floating across Lake Victoria and the source of the Nile, contributing to the activities of an Italian NGO, visiting various traditional healers at their homes, journeying for miles and miles from Kampala to Koboko and experiencing the local bodaboda, visiting local schools and assisting at children local traditional performances and much much more encompassed my time in Uganda.

During my short experience in Uganda, I went out into the “field”, to the area of Koboko to help the other volunteers with their activities. The aim of my trip was to start to understand development issues, and the Eastern-African Community society, culture, and traditions. What impressed me most I guess was visiting some schools, where I saw that these children arrived everyday, often traveling long distances by foot to sit in an unairconditioned classroom for 7 hours/day, because they wanted to learn; you could really tell how much these children cared for their community.

This was an amazing opportunity for me. I learned so much about Ugandese education, culture, language, and people. I have made some very good and lifelong friends. Most importantly, I learned a lot about myself and how much I really had to give.

Please watch the following video, it is about the NGO I went with and it has been filmed and realized during the trip I was ni by an otehr volunteer, Gianna Feller. This short video would give you a taste of my African experience, but of course, the best way to understand this unique experience is to go there and experience it by yourself. Personally, I am looking forward to go back to Africa.



I'd like to hear also your first experiences in Africa. Where have you been? How was the impact? What you will never forget?



Category: Tourism | Tags:


  • Clare Herbert on 05th August 2010:

    Great idea! You’ve inspired me! I’m going to post some reflections on my time in Zambia now. THanks.

  • Hussam Hussein on 05th August 2010:

    you’re welcome… smile looking forward to read your Zambian experience then… smile

  • Iwona Frydryszak on 05th August 2010:

    hehe, okej.

  • Hussam Hussein on 05th August 2010:

    Iwona, what about you? any previous African experience? smile

  • Larisa Rankovic on 05th August 2010:

    Hussam, you opened this day of great volunteering stories:)

  • Hussam Hussein on 05th August 2010:

    Glad that you liked it, Iwona and Larisa… but you still haven’t told us where have you been in Africa for your first time (or where would you like to go for your first time…) and your first feelings… in one sentence smile

  • Iwona Frydryszak on 05th August 2010:

    I did wink, now I dream about Bolivia and Burma… And some country in West Africa - I think that East and West Africa are different a lot.

  • Larisa Rankovic on 06th August 2010:

    I haven’t been, so nothing to report on:)

  • Jan Marcinek on 06th August 2010:

    I have no experiences like this :( Thanks to motivate me. I hope I get the opportunity soon.

  • Hussam Hussein on 06th August 2010:

    @Iwona, thanks for your post! I have been only to the Eastern part, and as you said the Western Africa should be really different.. but I still cannot say to know Eastern Africa well (only been to one cuontry), so I would also like to explore it more..

    @Larisa and @Jan: I have been only once, but maybe you could tell us where would you like to go if having the possibility. Which country inspires you most and why (maybe reading some of the posts in Think3 there is or there are some countries you would like to visit..)?

  • Jan Marcinek on 06th August 2010:

    @Hussam I want visit especially South America. There is so many cultures, languages, animals and beatiful nature (Which have trouble with us. We are destroying nature.).

  • Iwona Frydryszak on 06th August 2010:

    I also have the feeling that I know nothing about East Africa and I would like to explore more. It’s really beautiful places and a famous tourist destinantion - because of that you really feel that you are persumed as a tourist as well and “Mzungu” is behind you alomost all the time. More about it in this interview with me… and I heard that in West Africa it is not so…

  • Iwona Frydryszak on 06th August 2010:

    btw - maybe something for you - - deadline 10th of August

  • Aija Vanaga on 07th August 2010:

    I have never been to Africa, therefore your experience is a great deal to read about smile

  • Hanna Clarys on 08th August 2010:

    I have been to Ghana about 2 years ago and what they say is true: Africa gets under your skin. I can’t wait to go back someday. I did voluntary work there, but what I remember most is the children always following you, calling you ‘obruni’, which means white person. When I said ‘obibini’ back at them, they always had to laugh, surprised I knew the word for black person.

    So, Iwona, in West Africa it’s just the same smile

  • Hussam Hussein on 09th August 2010:

    @Jan: is there a specific country in Latin America you’d like to visit? I’ve never been there..

    @Iwona: thanks for the link, soudns interesting.. winkare you gonna apply?

    @Aija: thanks Aija. And where would you like to go in Africa for your first time?

    @Hanna: thanks! and I completely agree with you about the African feeling.. wanna go back! smile and you’d like to go back to Western Africa, or you’d like to explore new areas?

  • Jan Marcinek on 09th August 2010:

    @Hussam: Especially Brasil. A would like to visit Amazon River.

  • Helena Goldon on 09th August 2010:

    Hussam, Clare isn’t the only one inspired - I need to thank you for the inspiration too.
    I realised what I wanted to express was worth a whole post so, there you go:
    This is what I love.

  • Hussam Hussein on 09th August 2010:

    Great post Helena!!! Dziękuję bardzo!

  • Helena Goldon on 09th August 2010:

    Hussam, impressive Polish skills!

  • Hussam Hussein on 10th August 2010:

    Helena, thanks!!! wink

    Simon, yeh, actually I am glad to have given this idea, it is so exciting to read others’ posts on their first contact with Africa smile
    Concerning myself? Well, I would like to visit the whole continent, and going back to the Eastern African Community area would be really nice, but also exploring Western Africa or Ethiopia would be nice.. smile

  • Mark Grassi on 16th August 2010:

    @ Hussam and Iwona- Thank you for the inspiration, you really pass it on with the blog and Iwona, I have information about a project in Bolivia if that is somewhere you’d like to go! post to follow..


  • Hussam Hussein on 17th August 2010:

    @ Mark: glad that you liked it.. looking forward to read your stories smile

  • Iwona Frydryszak on 26th August 2010:

    @Mark, please give a link to the project. I really would like to go to Bolivia. I think it must be so unique country - Ands, Indians, Evo Morales, mines… So many things to describe.

  • Mark Grassi on 26th August 2010:

    due to financial ‘shortcomings’, we cant keep the website running anymore but all the details can be seen on facebook under the group ‘Travellingbug’; based in Bath if you’re ever around

    Its quite an independent traveler style project to be worked on, with a v low fee and the contacts of a family-run hostel to stay in. You work helping abused women knit a community and clothes that are then sold there and in the UK. They buy their food en masse and organise fayres,  sport tournaments, have language lessons etc to build a new community based on solidarity. You can also teach their amazing children, if you have knowledge of Spanish, in the highest town in the world and generally have an incredible time going to the Amazon, climbing mountains and visiting Tiwanaku and the salt flats for cheap!

    The man to get in touch with on facebook is James Jardella but if I can be of any help..


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