Paolo is 20 years old and was born and raised in Zimbabwe, Africa!
When he was just 13 years old, Paolo started kayaking on the Zambezi river, which is the fourth-longest river in Africa. The river is frequently interrupted by rapids which makes it a great rafting and kayaking river.
He mainly worked as a safety kayaker and already travelled around the world quite a bit. A couple of months ago he was visiting Europe with his family and rather than going back home to Zimbabwe after their vacation ended, he decided to travel around Europe a little bit. He visited a few friends in France and then made his way to the UK where he met up with Robin down in England and eventually came up here to work at ACE for a month. It was a great pleasure having him here and I think he enjoyed his time kayaking on the Findhorn as well.
Of course we also had a few chats about his life in Africa and what differences there are. The weather up here is pretty horrible he said, as he's used to the heat. I was pretty impressed when he told me about how he would sometimes see traces of lions or elephants when he's out for a run and how you can hear them from far away. It's really fascinating to live this close to these impressive animals – it can be a bit scary as well. Luckily none of them decided to break into their house apart from some iguanas.
Another thing Paolo realized is, that even though British people are friendly, he's more used to the openness of the people back home. "British people are really friendly but they can be a bit cold sometimes. Back home everyone is warm heartedly and welcoming. No matter where you're from and what race you are, if you have a problem they'll help you out. No questions asked.“
Now that his time at ACE is coming to an end, he'll be travelling Europe a bit more. "I was planning on maybe going to Norway, Germany and Austria. Maybe some other countries as well, depending on my time and budget.“ I can just encourage Paolo to see as much of Europe as possible until it's time for him to go back to Zimbabwe. Obviously he already met some of the coolest people while he was here at ACE but who knows what the future holds. He did enjoy his time here, even though it was rainy and cold most of the time but hey, that's Scotland for you.
We wish Paolo all the best and hope he'll have a great time travelling and exploring Europe and we hope he’ll be coming back.
Check out his Findhorn kayaking experience in this little video: