MALAIKA FOR LIFE is a network of angels who fight malaria - the number 1 killer in Africa – and empower vulnerable communities one bracelet at a time. With every bracelet purchase, we provide lifesaving medication and an income for HIV widows who handcraft each bracelet.
Founder Kristen Kenney, filmmaker Sylvia Caminer and Tanzanian native Venance Ndibalema talk about their trip to Tanzania, Kristen's fight with malaria and their new DVD, "Tanzania: A Friendship Journey." Read on for three different perspectives. Follow Malaika For Life on Twitter.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
I met my best friend Venance Ndibalema on a soccer field at the University of Miami. Although brought together by a common interest, I knew little about where he came from. He was African, tall, lean and you couldn't miss his dread locks. I was a petite, blue-eyed, bubbly blonde American girl. Yet somehow, Ven convinced me to join him on his journey back home to Tanzania. It had been ten years since he returned and it was the first time he would bring a white woman to his village. I was working in media when I met Sylvia Caminer, an Emmy award-winning director, who wanted to film the journey.
I knew little about Africa. The only images I had were of conflict, hate and war. Months later, I could not have prepared myself for what I was about to learn and experience on this journey to the "dark continent."
As a traveler, there is a BIG difference between observing and experiencing. From climbing to the top of Kilimanjaro to trekking across the Serengeti and sleeping in Ven's traditional village, I not only explored his country, but I experienced it. I stayed local. I lived local. I ate local. I danced local. I took the local bus. I spoke the local language. I slept in the village. I worked on the farm. I fetched water. And I got malaria.