Travel Series: Africa, Pt. 4
Today we (very sadly) end our amazing travel series from contributor Kendyl Elliott. Over the past month, Kendyl has been sharing her best memories and favorite photos from her journey to Ivory Coast, Africa. We have been incredibly proud to host this travelogue and are humbled by Kendyl's love for the family she made in Africa. I spent a lot of time connecting with the people of Ivory Coast, but I also had a lot of opportunities to see the country through a tourist’s eye. My host family, the Teagues, drove me around and let me explore their country one stop and one shop at a time. I ate at some of the best restaurants I have ever been to while in Africa. When I dreamt of traveling abroad, I never imagined I’d come home saying this was the place I had eaten the best hamburgers and pizza. Everything was incredibly fresh and seasoned just right. I loved the flavor so much I even brought some African red pepper back to the States. (That stuff left a potent smell in my suitcase!) I had the opportunity to shop for all kinds of souvenirs. I bought so much that I had to purchase another suitcase to bring it all home! It was so much fun negotiating with the salesmen for their goods. That was one of my favorite parts about shopping in Africa— no price was set in stone! I came home with artwork, figurines, drums, and even a small table. I’m not sure how I managed to get it all back home and meet the weight limits set by Brussels Airlines, but I did! Another highlight of the trip was our overnight stay at the beach. It wasn’t your typical beach scene. Rain clouds sat in the sky and the breeze carried along the shore. We were one of the only other families at our hotel. It was incredibly peaceful to just sit and take in the beauty of Africa with no distractions. I’d rather read a book by the Atlantic than jet-ski along the Gulf any day. Every so often, we were approached by men selling souvenirs. At this point, I had enough gifts to give to everyone I had ever met, but I just couldn’t resist. One man even set up his product line at my feet. He wanted to be sure I didn’t overlook the opportunity for more things to take home! We were also privileged to tour one of the largest churches in the entire world in the city of Yamoussoukro. I had no idea it even existed prior to my trip. The Basilica was one of the most massive, beautiful buildings I have ever seen. We even visited the rooftop. I was sure I was going to melt in that African heat. Our English-speaking tour-guide was insistent on snapping a typical tourist photo of this adventure. I have to admit— piecing this series together was incredibly challenging. Compressing a month of memories and emotions was so hard for me. Every day I spent in Africa felt like a dream. To this day, it is still hard for me to believe I have seen the place my heart dreamt of for so many years. Half of my heart will forever live 6,000 miles across the sea. We here at Hello Luvvy cannot thank Kendyl enough for being our contributing travel writer over this past month! If you have any questions for Kendyl about her work in Africa, comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And do you have a travel story to tell? We'd love to hear it and maybe feature it right here on HL-- contact us! Writer's bio: Kendyl is a coffee-driven college student pursuing a degree in education. She plans to teach English abroad after graduating from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.