Out of Africa: At the foot of Mully Mountain
Students from the IUBH Dual Studies, together with their lecturers Dr David Rempel and Prof Dr Felix Wölfle, spent ten days exploring the local tourist conditions in Kenya. A field report.
There were 18 of us, dual students from the IUBH locations in Dusseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen, Bad Reichenhall and Campus One, and we began our study trip to Kenya on 10 July 2019. For ten days, we explored the existing tourist reality and framework conditions of Kenya as a destination, under the direction of our lecturers Dr David Rempel and Prof Dr Felix Wölfle. Our focus was on the options for marketing various country-specific adventure products in the German or European source market. In the course of our trip, we managed to make use of various tourist services: from mountain biking in the renowned Hells Gate National Park to tree-planting with more than 500 Kenyan students to mark the 30th anniversary of the organisation MCF Mully Children’s Family.
“The biggest family in the world”
Our trip was organised in cooperation with the non-profit organisation MCF Mully Children’s Family. Members welcomed us warmly on our arrival in Kenya. With around 13,000 children, MCF is possibly the largest orphanage in the world – or, as the community calls itself: “the biggest family in the world”. Most of the children admitted come from an unstable family background or even criminal circles. Some have drug-dependent parents, others are rape victims. MCF primarily provides children with protection and safety, followed by food and especially access to free education. We got to know the community and sought active contact. We played football with the children and went hiking or jogging with them in the surrounding mountains at sunrise. We quickly came to realise that music and religion play a very important role in their culture. Accordingly, we enjoyed a number of private concerts, religious ceremonies and various dance performances together.
Adventure and relaxation
After some spectacular days in the MCF community, our next adventure began: the trip to Nairobi National Park. The special thing about this national park is its extraordinary location, a 117 square kilometre site in the middle of a city with three million inhabitants: “the world’s only wildlife capital”. Next, we headed for the so-called Maji Moto Eco Camp. The camp is run by the Masai, who greeted us with their traditional welcome ceremony. This involved special chants and sounds followed by stick fights. The very first evening at the camp, the Masai shared their natural healing knowledge with us during a hike through the nearby bush. The camp was particularly noteworthy for its eco-friendly and efficient construction. One morning, we set off for Masai Mara National Park. There we saw baby giraffes, baby elephants and baby zebras – and of course there was no lack of wildebeest. It was a breathtaking experience. In the evening, we relaxed in some hot springs, thermal springs that are naturally heated by volcanoes and are, of course, environmentally friendly. Before long, we continued on to Hell’s Gate National Park. While most of the group went to look for hippopotamuses, the athletes among us headed off on an unforgettable mountain bike safari under the excellent leadership of Prof Dr Felix Wölfle. The final destination chosen was geothermal baths consisting of sulphur pools.
We later returned to the MCF campus to prepare for the two-day Ecotourism Conference 2019. In the run-up to the study trip, we had already prepared our presentations in small groups, which considered eco and adventure tourism from various perspectives. This took place in cooperation with students from Mount Kenya University and Mully College. It was fascinating to compare the different ways of working among Europeans and Kenyans and to collect and evaluate the results together. The second day of the conference was dedicated to an intensive discussion between IUBH students and the MCF team. MCF is currently developing the tourist concept in Kenya under the name MCF Africa Safaris and asked the students for suggestions and constructive criticism based on their previous practical experience in the tourism and hospitality sector. After a constructive day, MCF surprised us with a magnificent camp fireside graduation dinner under a starry sky by the magical, muddy river. It was hard for us to start the homeward journey so soon.
Highlight of the Ecotourism Conference 2019.#mullychildrensfamily
Gepostet von Mully Children's Family am Samstag, 3. August 2019
We would like to thank the outstanding organisers Dr David and his wife Alexandra Rempel, not only for establishing bridges between MCF and the IUBH, but above all for bringing us all together so cordially. We would also like to thank Prof Dr Felix Wölfle for his intensive supervision of our presentations and above all the fun time we all had together in Kenya. We would like to thank our fellow students for the positive cooperation and new friendships. And we would like to thank MCF for some unforgettable impressions and experiences.