My name is Ahmad Thwayyib, I’m from India and I’m currently pursuing my studies in Energy Engineering at a prestigious university in Milan (Italy), the Politecnico di Milano.

Moving across countries has never been unusual for me, as I’ve been accustomed to it since my childhood. Despite that, embarking in a new adventure in Kenya was for me an incredibly exciting opportunity, that I eagerly embraced.

Living in a place for an extended period always provides a deeper and more immersive experience than just visiting; residing in Nairobi, the vibrant capital of Kenya, for three months was a profound and enriching experience that left an indelible mark on my life. This opportunity arose through an internship placement with E4Impact Foundation, which aims at fostering impact entrepreneurship and sustainable development in 20 African countries through its activities.

From the moment I arrived in Nairobi, I was captivated by the city’s energy and diversity. The work environment at the E4Impact Entepreneurship Center was remarkably peaceful and my colleagues were among the warmest and most welcoming people I’ve encountered in my travels. As an Indian, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the unmistakable influence of Indian cuisine in Kenyan food culture. Delicious samosas and chapatis became staple fare at our office lunches, serving as a delightful reminder of the interconnectedness of cultures across borders.

During my internship, I had the privilege of collaborating on significant projects with prominent international organizations: an experience that broadened my perspective and honed my professional skills. Moreover, I was fortunate to have supportive mentors who provided invaluable guidance and encouragement, fostering my personal and professional growth.

Beyond the confines of the office, I immersed myself in the local life of Nairobi, eager to explore its rich tapestry of cultures and traditions. One of the most striking aspects of Nairobi was its linguistic diversity, with nearly 100% of the population proficient in English. This linguistic commonality facilitated seamless communication and cultural integration, allowing me to forge meaningful connections with people from diverse backgrounds.

In addition to my urban experiences, I had the opportunity to venture into the breathtaking natural landscapes of Kenya, particularly the world-renowned Masai Mara National Reserve. Visiting Masai Mara was a transformative experience, immersing me in the beauty of Africa’s wilderness through safari excursions on the savannah wildlife, accompanied by knowledgeable guides. From the encounters with elephants and lions to the graceful movements of giraffes and zebras, every moment in Masai Mara was a testament to the wonders of nature.

Exploring the Masai Mara’s vast expanses, I gained a newfound appreciation for the delicate balance of ecosystems and the importance of our efforts in preserving our planet’s biodiversity. Watching the commitment of the local Maasai communities on that, further deepened my understanding of the complex relationship between humans and nature, as well as of the sustainable practices in safeguarding the environment.

As I reflect on my time in Kenya, I am filled with gratitude for the unforgettable experiences and friendships that enriched my journey. While my internship may have concluded, the memories and lessons learned will continue to resonate with me for years to come. I do really hope to have the chance of returning to Kenya one day, in order to reconnect with the vibrant spirit of its cities and the timeless beauty of its wilderness.

Ahmad Thwayyib