Friday, September 30, 2011

One word....

I was asked yesterday by a friend to sum up my trip in one word.

One word? Seriously? 

Try it, one word to sum up the last month of your life.

It is not easy!  I did manage to find one word to sum up this experience that took me from home, for almost a month, to the other side of the globe, via 4 different airports, 6 planes, several time zones, way too many languages to count, to a totally different culture, HOT climate, to work with people you have never met, to see one of your best friends on her turf, to do things you have never done, eat things you have never eaten, and just plain a long way from home...... One word....   HUMBLING

I live in a country listed as one of the richest in the world, with listings as the best cities in the world to live in.  Yet all around I see discontent, people wanting the next newest this or that, not really sure of what is of real value.  A country where many people do not know their neighbours, where family is not valued as it should be.  A country with more options for groceries than we truly need, with soil that will grow almost anything, and a climate that makes it possible. 

I visit a country listed 3rd from the bottom of UN's human development list , the people have next to nothing, the streets are littered with garbage, goats, cows, sheep and young children roam the streets at all hours, a country where people rarely have the opportunity to travel, where even basic education is a luxury.   Goods are available on every street corner, but funds to purchase such goods is scarce.  However in the midst of this extreme poverty the people are gracious, kind and generous. Family is valued and communities are depended upon. They have joy. in the midst of it all.   Experiencing and being on the receiving end of that was truly HUMBLING!
 I will never be the same after Africa......

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