Hello guys! Apologies for the mini-break in posting. I hope you’ve all been okay! I have an exciting story to tell. On October 16th, it was just a normal day like any other but I was in a race! In the morning, I was on my to Nairobi’s VFS Visa application centre, my heart palpitating, my mom on my side trying to calm me down. It was to travel the next day and my Schengen Visa was not in my hands. Just halfway through my journey from Naivasha to the capital, I got the warmest email of all time, from the Danish embassy. I was advised to go pick my Visa! I smiled triumphantly, knowing that my prayers had been answered! So, what exactly was I excited about?
Background of the visit
As you all know, back in September 2017, I was selected to be a Global Schools Ambassador with United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth Initiative (SDSN Youth). I got trained on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 8 months before assuming the role of a Global Schools Ambassador. Through this role, I have been mobilizing young people in Kenya to embrace the SDGs into their personal and professional lives, through advocacy.
Since starting my role in June, I have reached an estimated 50,000 young people through multimedia campaigns, from media interviews to celebrity Instagram mentions. I am also working hard in training teachers on the SDGs so that they can teach students on the same, as well as offering resources and collaboration effort so that they can have the goals integrated into their curriculum. To learn more about the Global Schools Program, visit globalschoolsprogram.org.
Purpose of the visit
On September 24th, I got the most exciting news from the DTU Skylab at the Technical University of Denmark that I had been selected to attend the P4G Summit as a Young Influencer, as part of the Next Generation event. I was so excited as I had prayed for this day and night! I just needed to get my Visa as soon as possible! This is where the marathon started.
I would be representing the voice of the Kenyan youth, and since I was already working towards the inclusion of all young people to be part of the Agenda 2030, I got to be selected from a pool of candidate after rigorous interviews.
I would learn about Danish stakeholders’ experiences with public-private partnerships and their potential to accelerate green growth and sustainable development both at the local and national level. Essentially, the P4G Copenhagen Summit 2018 gathered Heads of States and Government, leaders of international organizations, businesses, academia, and the civil society from around the world to form a powerful coalition on the sustainable development goals through innovative partnerships. The P4G Summit accelerated and showcased partnerships with scalable solutions to some of the global challenges in food and agriculture, water, energy, cities and circular economy.
After getting the passport the VFS, my mom and I proceeded to my aunt’s place to rest and pack. I would later be joined by my younger brother and dad. My heart was at ease. I had secured my Visa.
I was to leave on date 17th, 4.45am on flight Turkish Airlines TK 608. That evening, my family and I had dinner, watched some movies, had fun with my nieces and nephews. I could not sleep that night. I woke up at 1.30am because this was the most important flight of my life.
My family and I got to JKIA exactly 2 hours to the flight. They left immediately I passed check in. I found my colleagues from Kenya at the waiting lounge. We laughed off some mishaps and confusions that had happened throughout the day. At exactly 4.45am, the Airbus A330-200 took off. It would be my home in the sky for the next 6 hrs, 30 minutes.
I won’t write a whole review of the flight, that would be an article on its own. We landed at Istanbul at around 11.15am. We would connect to Copenhagen at 17.45 after a 4 hours wait. We used an Airbus A321, which was not as comfortable as the other one. I felt several Gs after take off. When landing, my eardrums hurt like I’ve never felt.
Arrival in Denmark
We had the warmest reception at Copenhagen. Josefine, one of my hosts in Denmark. She gave us soothing hugs after the long journey. I was so tired. We went straight to a train that would take us to our accommodation area in Central Copenhagen.
Denmark is such a beautiful country! I mean, from the moment I entered the train, saw the beautiful sunset from my window, the neatly structured roads, beautiful homes that were by the rail track…and the clear air…I felt at home. We would be staying at Steel House, a hostel in the city for the next 5 days. We connected from the bus to the hostel by bus. The city is very neat, super orderly…people obey traffic rules…and everyone minds their own business.
The meals on the plane had me full but my feet could not stand…upon arrival in our shared room, I just slumped into my bed and slept for the rest of the night. The following morning, I met my fellow influencers from Japan, Ethiopia and Kenya officially. It was about to get lit! Stay tuned for more articles about the experience; this was just an introduction!