My name is Linnet Atieno Odera, I love Girl Guiding . My journey as a guide started in June 2015 after being advised by a confidante friend of mine. My parents’ separation and AGR made me have a clear vision, backed by definite plans and tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.
During my first year in university, my classmate introduced me to an exchange program known as Youth Exchange South to South (YESS). I was eager to know more about it, I applied, and surprisingly I have been called for an interview. The interview was somehow challenging as was my first time to attend an interview. Thanks God! I managed to be among the four girls who were to represent Kenya for the exchange.
On 16th January 2019, I had a mixture of feelings. I was happy of flying in the plane to another country and sad for leaving my loved ones behind. But all in all, it is true to say that growth can be a detoxifying process in which things will need to come up, out and looked at before they are released. So I decided to forget about everything and focus on my main mission of transforming the lives of others.
Our first stop was in Uganda where all the 45 girls from different countries were hosted at a superior hotel called Munyonyo resort. It was a great experience meeting with girls and young women from different races. It was really nice and we learned a lot from there. We were told that in whichever country we were heading to, everything will not be right nor wrong but just different and I liked that.
On 25th January, we finally come in Rwanda and we were warmly welcomed. We were eight girls from different countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe , Madagascar, and Bangladesh) . Our first impression was the cleanness in Kigali and how Rwandans are very welcoming. And as time pass we learn to appreciate and love Rwanda.
We officially started our work on Monday 27th, we were introduced to various staff members and offices. It was not easy at first being in a strange country but remember, as long as you are breathing, it is never too late to start a new beginning. For the whole time we been here, we was recruiting new AGR members, help in administration work, perform World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts initiatives, support Rwanda Girl Guides alumni, conduct a campaign of YESS Girls Can Say No to Alcohol and Drugs and also attend radio and Television stations. The biggest challenge have become the language, but this does not deter us from performing our duties.
This exchange has changed my life, it has opened many closed doors and motivated one to keep soldiering on.
When I do good, I feel good and when I do bad, I feel bad too. That is my religion.