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Tours of Purpose | TOP

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Tours of Purpose | TOP
What to expect in Africa

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What to Expect in Africa

┬╗ TOP elememtary and secondary schools educator and teacher trainer, Len Harms, pictured as he proceeds to enter a TOP SUV.

What to expect under TOP in East Africa
Evey visiting teacher or professor can expect a dedicated TOP staff on the ground to provide efficient services in form of prior arrangement with local schools, transportation to and from schools, fine accommodation and meals, and a sound mixture of academics and tourism, all designed to meet the African students’ academic needs while provide the visiting teacher and professor a rare view of what Africa can offer in terms of natural wonders and cultural uniqueness. In other words, in addition to class time and safari experience, the visitor is treated to African music and customs, Africa tropical fruits and varied meals, not to mention Africa’s unparalleled hospitality in every village, town, and home. Via TOP, the local school is not only left better off after the visit, but the visiting teacher or professor walks away with a new appreciation for his academic field of interest, realizing that there is a vast world that yearns for his or her expertise.

Our commitment to every TOP is lowest hotel costs for the finest rooms, lowest cost for the finest meals, free transport in the best 4×4 vehicles in Africa, free programming and scheduling for your entire visit, maximum security for your comfort either on the road or at the guest houses or hotels, easy access to internet, phone and or other communication services, and a daily adventurous experience while in Africa.

Dr. Aguilera, City University of New York and New College of Rochelle, is pictured in front of TOP guest house in Kampala, Uganda.
Dr. Aguirela prepares for lectures in TOP guest house.

A short note on my trip to Uganda.


I visited Uganda for nine days as a TOP volunteer. During my time in Uganda I visited six educational institutions where I met with colleagues and administrators and lectured to students. The students were bright and engaging and the schools selected gave me an enviable vantage point into a broad range of schools, including ones rich in resources. I was impressed that in resource poor schools, the faculty and students were responding creatively and proactively and had bold and visionary aspirations. Many of the institutions I visited were fewer than ten years old, yet most had taken steps to partner with US institutions and were creatively managing their resources.

I enjoyed driving around Kampala and being exposed to many aspects of urban and rural life in Uganda through daily travel and weekend excursions. TOP provided a full immersion experience and I never felt like a tourist.
One of the highlights of the trip was our weekend at Murchison Falls National Park. It is in an area several hours from Kampala in Northern Uganda almost at the border with Sudan/Congo. We spent the night inside of the park, visited a waterfall, and enjoyed a morning game drive and a pm boat ride before returning home. It was a wonderful experience and I am grateful to TOP for providing an experience that not only provided professional development but also showcased Uganda’s natural treasures.

I had a wonderful time in Uganda. There is a culture of kindness and hospitality that envelops you from the first moment you step off the plane.  The weather is warm, the food is delicious and the landscape is simply beautiful. Yes, there is poverty and want but despair is in short supply. TOP had made our trip effortless. Staffers responded cheerfully to unexpected glitches and bureaucratic missteps. The organization had clearly expanded from its modest beginnings two years ago and I believe that as time progresses they will continue to grow and thrive. Volunteering was hard work and often exhausting, but I would do it all over
again and recommend it to others.

Take care

Robyn C. Spencer

Assistant Professor of History

Lehman College, CUNY

 

 


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