A lesson in enjoying the moment

My workcamp group In Sega, Kenya, presented a German gospel during mass. Athough we had practiced our performance before, we were quite nervous about it. In order to proove our courage to our friends back home, we asked someone to tape us singing and dancing. Unfortunately, she failed to do so. Although we did a great job on stage and our spectators seemed to like our performace, I was crushed about not having a taped memory of it.

Luckily, I noticed how stupid this thought was quite quickly. Here’s why:

We did a great job. We had fun. We made more than a thousand of other people happy. Last but not least: We made a memory. So what’s there to be sad about? Nothing!
Picture Moment Laura Konieczny

Taking a picture or enjoying the moment?

Although I love taking pictures while traveling, I’ve recently tried to cut it down to a minimum. Don’t get me wrong. It’s nice to have photos and videos as memories of great experiences made, beautiful places visited and wonderful people met. I also love sharing my (traveling) pictures with family and friends as much as I enjoy looking at their pictures. However, as times passes, I sometimes wonder what I’m actually remembering: the “true memory” or a static picture of it, FESTGEHALTEN with a camera.

Does it really matter?, you might wonder. To me, it does. I don’t want to have a nice view through the occular of my camera only. I’d rather like to feel the sun, rain or wind on my skin, inhale a place’s unique smell and try to take a vivid picture with my inner eye. I want to enjoy the moment while I’m living it, not only afterwards when looking at pictures.

Looking at photos and videos is a great way to remember memories made in past days. However, they shouldn’t stay onedimensional but remind us of those unique experiences we made, beautiful places we visited and the wonderful people we met. So next time you’re taking pictures and looking at them a while later, try to ask yourself: How did the place smell? What did it feel like? What did YOU feel like? Trust me, you’ll SCHWELGEN IN ERINNERUNGEN even longer than you normally do.

What’s your favorite memory?

What’s your favorite picture taken while traveling?

Check out those inspirational articles by my blogging colleagues:

Matador Network: “Don’t see traveling as a checklist”

Journey of Wonders: Photography tips

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Visiting Kisumu and Lake Victoria, Kenya

Day trips are fun, especially when they’re distracting you from everyday life in a lovely yet tiny town such as Sega.

That’s why my workcamp group decided to take a trip to Kisumu, Kenya’s third largest town, and stop by Lake Victoria, the world’s third largest sweet water lake.

The matatu (small bus) or cashier (big bus) ride from Sega to Kisumu takes about 2,5 hours and costs 250 KES (ca. $2,50). There are numerous things to do in Kisumu, here’s what we decided on:

Visit the Kisumu National Museum

Learn more about the Luo culture and see a reconstruction of a traditional Luo homestead.

Reconstruction of a typical Luo homestad

Reconstruction of a typical Luo homestad

The museum also contains a collection of African snakes, sweet water aquariums and two crocodiles which are kept in tiny cages.If you’re an animal lover, skip those parts of the exhibition. It broke my heart to see those animal vegetating. The exhibition hall about traditional Luo crafts and handiwork also contains preserved animal heads as well as a preserved lion and buffallo body. The museum claims all those animals died a natural death and we’re preserved for research purposes only.

Entrance Fee: 100 KES ($ 1) for Kenyan citizens, 200 KES ($ 2) for East African citizens, 500 ($ 5) for foreign citizens.

Visit Dunga Beach

Eat freshly fried fish or your own picnic while enjoying a beautiful view over Lake Victoria. Watch the fisherman sail across the lake in their colourful boats and see the women prepare the fish to be sold on markets nearby. Watch hundreds of birds eat the fish leftovers. Go on a boatride across the lake (100 KES).

Last but not least: take a matatu back home and enjoy the silence in a small but lovely and wonderful town like Sega.

The workcamp I am conducting is organized by the German organization Kolping Jugendgemeinschaftsdienste. To learn more about their work and possibilites to participate in a workcamp in different countries all over the world, check out their website.