Amusing Musings of a Character Curious About Culture

Some Rants, Raves and Ramblings about All that I See

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The People of Africa

April 10th, 2010 · 42 Comments

This is my first “real” trip to Africa. I’d been to Egypt and the Seychelles Islands, but, as people are found of telling me, I’d never been to “real” Africa. I was excited to see what it was all about.

After spending some time in Nigeria, Ivory Coast., Senegal and Ghana, I can now say that I’ve seen the “real” Africa. All in all, it is a nice place.

My biggest anticipation lay with meeting the African people. For someone who grew up in a small town and who had never really had much contact with Africans, or black people in general, I was curious to meet with them in their native lands.  In the U.S., we get to meet African-Americans who are really just American now, African only by their distant past.

I’ve met many peoples of the world and have found all, and I mean all, a friendly bunch of people. Sometimes they have a hard exterior of indifference or aggression, but I have rarely met anyone who could not be persuaded into revealing their true, friendly nature. Call me an optimist or perhaps one who wears rose-tinted glasses, but I still hold by this notion. A person has to be pretty bad for me to consider them “bad”. But if you chip away at that hard exterior, a friendly person is usually lurking underneath.

The African people did not disappoint. Their exterior is much softer than any that I’ve met and they seem to be a genuinely warm people. At first their are timid, almost shy, but soon open up with a big smile and gregarious demeanor. I was pleasantly surprised when walking down the streets at being greeted by a bright “Bonjour!” and “Ca va?” Do that in New York and you’re likely to be growled at and have your Starbucks cup knocked out of your hand.

One final note to take under consideration. When I asked my colleague here about how many tribes are represented in his office, he said that there were “around 30″. I asked if there was any animosity between them, historical grudges or blood feuds. He gave a big smile and said “Of course not!” like it was a most silly question to ask. Which it probably  was.

I think that many neighborhoods in the U.S. would have trouble matching that claim.

lady watching the morning market

Tags: Interesting Things I See

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