Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Why Africa?"

I get asked this so often.

Yes, you should definitely come to Ghana someday! Speaking as an American, I am probably like most people in the US - Africa was the last place on earth I had any desire to visit. But some years ago I had a ton of frequent flier miles that were going to expire, so I cashed them in for the maximum award - Johannesburg! I stayed there only for a couple days and then ventured across 6 countries in the next 6 weeks.

So it was really by accident that I went to Africa in the first place. But that one trip changed my life. I didn't think of going anywhere else after that, and when I finally traveled to the country of Ghana, I knew I had found a very special place indeed. I can't wait until I am able to sell my house in California and move there.

All we in the US know of Africa is what we see in the media, which focuses relentlessly on disease, poverty, warfare and all the ills that are certainly there. All that most people in Africa know of the US is what they see in the media, which is all glamor, riches, an easy life with little work, and all the good things that are to be enjoyed here.

Of course we know that homelessness and poverty and crime and other afflictions are in the US, but when I tell people in Africa about these things, they are astonished and sometimes even refuse to believe me, thinking that I am lying to keep them away.

When I first visited Africa, I saw with my own eyes that the life is more than the problems the media feeds us. Sure, all that exists, but there is so much more. Like the kindness and respect shown to each other, the tightly woven fabric of community, the greetings that everyone gives to each other in passing, the sharing and civility and joy of life.

The life isn't always easy in Africa, it isn't always comfortable, and it always isn't fair. And I believe there are those that would say these same things about life in the USA. I don't advise this path I am following for everyone. I will most likely I will have a shorter life if I am living there. But I honestly feel it will be infinitely richer.

Enjoy the pics....they are from my send-off party when I departed Ghana. That's a whole other story sometime!



Blogger Александр Тетеря said...

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3:12 AM  

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