Italy- (Bologna, Vignola)

Bologna sounds like a pasta name right? A-a-a-h, maybe it’s just me.

Bologna Jazz Fest


This is my third time to participate is an EU Erasmus plus program projects. I have been to Slovenia- a small country in Europe with approximately 2million people, Uganda for a final project spearheaded by Lithuania and now Italy – countries participating apart from Italy and Kenya were Turkey, Belgium- Land of best chocolate in zey world, Mozambique and DRC though DRC were not able to join us in Italy because #visamanenoz. Hey, even I was also told to report back to the Embassy once back and VISa stories are just not my best stories.

Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport. It runs for seven years, from 2014 to 2020, with organizations invited to apply for funding each year for life-changing activities.


Am affiliated to an organization locally that takes part in the Erasmus plus programme and because of my participation locally, I have been selected three times as a delegate to represent my country abroad.

Check out Volunteer Action for Change Kenya (VACK) on their social media handles

We used Turkish airlines and from Kenya to Turkey is about 6hours. We had a 5 hour layover and I thought we would just be an hour away from Italy but Italy is 2hours behind Turkey and Kenya so in total 3 hours. We met with Team Turkey, 2 lovely ladies and headed to the destination together. In fact, they sat next to me on the plane.

Disclaimer: Istanbul airport gives allows you only 1hour free WIFI. If you need any more time, you need to swipe your passport and purchase some more. Oi!

I was told before it was 2 hours and now they have reduced to 1 hour. Reason? Security but…if it’s security why let people buy. Sounds more of a commercial angle honestly.

Istanbul airport, this is the most effective way for your clients to communicate back home when they are thousands of miles away and homesick because of ‘rice’, please reconsider.

3 hours prompt, – touchdown Bologna International Airport, Italy. Our driver was already waiting for us to take us to Vignola –where we would stay, a 30minute drive.

Upon arrival, the chef had prepared a nice, hot vegetable soup for us. We ate some as we did introductions with the countries present: Turkey, Mozambique, Italy and Kenya. Belgium would join us later and as already mentioned DRC could not join us but would participate in the project via video-conferencing. Bakongo batoto… dunno why, but just felt like typing this here. Hahaha!

So we rested and no sooner had we done that than morning came. Italy was so cold by the way: rainy with temperatures ranging 1 degree to 12 degrees and this was autumn, not even winter cold. This was my first culture shock. The second would come later in terms of food, when a starter of soup, bread and lettuce was actually our dinner. Hehe… I really missed rice while there. At least we cooked some ugali with unga ya home that I carried, on Kenya culture night.


Kenya culture night – but do I say!!!

Our project was from 9 to 7pm with short 15min breaks, one hour lunch and energizers before we began #EUprojects. Basically we were just in the big house where we stayed, and it was nicely heated up, but when you went outside is when you discovered the situation on the ground is different. Haha #Nairobijargon #Kenyanproverb


On the final conference day, we travelled by train for about 45minutes from Vignola to Bologna. It was the first real time in the city for us. It was still brrrr. Had some like 2, 3 hours to shop which of course was very little for me and culture shock 3- most of the shops were selling winter items like the true winter collection. I wanted open heels but all we got were closed shoes or boots. Then Bologna is town for the rick folk, so- pricy and stuff… yeah.

Later we returned to Vignola and went out and the next day we were back home, Kenya.

Home sweet home bruh. We touched down JKIA and my head was just ringing “Wamlambezzz” jo… mayne was I glad to be home… with a general demeanor that rice can save the world.

I hope the pictures tell you more of the stories. When I go back to Italy, more adventures shall prevail.




For now….,


Muthoni Kirumba.





Muthoni Kirumba

The author Muthoni Kirumba

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