As I end my time here in this city culture and get ready to move to what will probably be a very different culture in the countryside, I wanted to highlight my favorites and least favorites from this country. Some will be the same in my new town, some probably will not.
Top five favorite things about Africa:
5. Coke in a glass bottle at 25 cents a pop
4. Ridiculously cheap local fruits and vegetables – tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, onions, potatoes, bananas, strawberries, mangoes, blackberries, papaya, pineapple…all very very cheap! Imported food items- ridiculously expensive!
3. Beautiful weather – Lows in the 60’s, highs in the 80’s….year round. When I want to complain about where I am, I just think about all the other places in Africa (or South Georgia) that I could be where the temperature regularly hits 100 degrees or more.
2. Beautiful people – seriously, I think some of the most beautiful women in the world live here. Beautiful brown skin, big brown eyes, gorgeous white teeth, and little teeny tiny physiques. Without an ounce of makeup on and wearing whatever, they still look beautiful! Don’t even get me started about how adorable the children are!
1. A friendly, welcoming culture – yeah, they might welcome me by calling me firinge at times, but all in all, they are excited that I am here, excited to have me come to their house, and thrilled that I am bothering to learn their language. I can’t even speak the official language, but if I say a word or two in it, I am instantly a friend. Kids often walk across the street just to shake my hand (not really sure why) and adults are almost always generous, gracious, and friendly.
Top five least favorite things about Africa:
5. Lots of trash everywhere – when they are finished with something, they throw it on the ground. It’s sad to see how some of the beautiful landscape is ruined by garbage all over the place.
4. No anonymity – I’ve talked about this before, you can’t go anywhere and be alone. They see white people and start running to you. Often it is kids though, so you can’t help but think they are precious.
3. Being surrounded by poverty and begging – again, this isn’t new, but it wears on you in ways you wouldn’t believe.
2. The driving – seriously, these people can not drive! To take up both lanes of traffic, no big deal. Turn across two lanes of traffic without even glancing behind you, no big deal. There are no rules here and people’s driving ability drives me crazy! But then again, you never have to feel bad about being a bad driver… so is everyone else.
1. Um, it’s not America – my family and friends aren’t here, enough said. When I think of home, home is still America and I don’t know at what point that changes. I also miss many of the conveniences and luxuries, but those things you adjust to. Being away from all the people you know and love is hard!