At Justfly, our passion lies in creating memories through travel. Unfortunately, an unprecedented turn of events in the form of a global pandemic meant that travel took a hard pause, and we all missed out on some opportunities for adventure. Just like travellers around the world, we were sad to have to put our own vacations on hold and watch as booking after booking was cancelled due to travel restrictions. But we didn’t let this wave of bad news get us down. We set out to bring happiness back with the launch of Project Reunited, a contest to bring people together after a year of pandemic-ruined plans. We received hundreds of submissions with heartwarming stories and after careful consideration settled on one story that really spoke to us. Our wonderful winner is named Aicha and we could not think of a kinder and more deserving person. Our media team was lucky enough to speak with Aicha and hear more about her story.
Aicha entered our reunited contest after facing a difficult year. She lost one of her most precious family members, her grandmother. The matriarch of the family, a woman who was incredibly strong and caring. Due to travel restrictions, Aicha, along with other family members in the US were unable to fly to Burkina Faso for the funeral and grieve with the rest of their loved ones. The loss was devastating for Aicha and her family, even though they knew her grandmother had lived an incredible life. As our contest winner, she chose to fly with her sister, who recently had a baby, to Burkina Faso where they would be reunited with many family members and be able to celebrate the life of her grandmother. See Aicha’s full interview below and some beautiful photos of her and her family.
Justfly: Where will you travel to and who will you be visiting?
Aicha: “I will be travelling to my home country, Burkina Faso. I will visit my parents and my extended family. My mother who was sick almost the whole year of 2020 will be happy to spend some time with me.”
Jf: Who will you be bringing with you on your trip?
“I will be travelling with my sister. She just had a baby and she deserves some time off to go and connect more with our family back in Africa and get in touch with her roots. She will also get some blessings for her newborn.”
Jf: Will you be making the trip at a special time such as for a holiday, birthday etc?
Aicha: “I will be making this trip for the anniversary of my grandmother’s passing. We will be holding a memorial service to celebrate and honour her.”
Jf: How did Covid impact your family and why does this trip mean so much to you?
Aicha “During COVID, my grandmother, who I was very close to, passed away in Burkina Faso. Because of travel restrictions, I could not attend her funeral services. This trip will give me a chance to pay my respects to her. We are all saddened by this loss however my father was hit hardest. He loves talking about my grandmother and sharing her memories. Hopefully, it will help him to look forward.”
Jf: Can you tell us a little bit about your grandma and why she was so important to you?
Aicha: “My grandmother was a princess in her village called Darigma. Her tradition doesn’t allow women to be chief so she had to renounce her throne and leave her village. She then married my grandfather who was from a surrounding village. My grandmother was very wise and learned a lot about habits and customs from her father. Until her old age, royalty from her village would often come to seek all kinds of advice from her. Every school break, I would go and spend time with her and she would tell me the most impressive stories. I believe that our life experiences build us but I also believe we learn a lot from people’s experiences. My grandmother always said, “I am not doing good around me so that it will be returned to me. I do it so my children and grandchildren can collect this good one day and don’t suffer in life”. This has since been my motto and has made me want to be a better version of myself every day.”
Jf: What are some of your favourite things to do when you visit Burkina Faso?
Aicha: “There is so much to do in Burkina Faso. Since it is my home country, when I get there I will visit family and friends and connect more with my extended family. I will also definitely enjoy fresh tropical fruits. I might plan to visit Banfora, a city in the southwest of the country which has a nice waterfall.”
Find flights to bring you and your loved ones together at https://www.justfly.com/