Welcome to Africa

September 4, 2014 - Johannesburg, South Africa

I was so caught up in preparing for my trip to South Africa that I completely forgot to drink up the moment. It was not until I sat on my eighteen hour Ethiopian Airlines flight that I finally realized how major this is. I was traveling to Africa for the second time; my first time being Morocco. More importantly, I was sharing this moment with one of my best friends. I missed this travel rush. I missed trying authentic ethnic foods, language barriers, and often the organized chaos I experience when in a foreign country. My last authenic international experiencd was two years ago in Dubai. Since then, I went on a cruise to Mexico, which is not an authentic international experience. Authentic experiences challenge travelers to adapt to the norms of the land. Cruise lines, excursions, and mega resorts adapt the land to foreigner norms; I prefer tge  former. It gives me life. In no other way do I feel as though I'm living more than going outside of my small repetitive world to experience life in a new light through the lens in which others see it. This feeling is home for me.

 

I loved the culture of community I experienced in route on Ethiopian airlines. Motherhood seems to be admired and celebrated. Oftentimes, complete strangers feel comfortable guiding, holding, and taking care of children that are not even their own. For example, an older woman saw two young girls standing alone in the ticket line and immediately asked them, "Where is your mother?" While on the flight, strangers took turns holding crying agitated babies as if it was in part their duty. I experienced a village raising a child and it was beautiful to see adults take their place in securing the happiness and safety of the little ones around them. It was beautiful to watch the little ones respect that position.

 

During our transfer, we met a lady from Denmark. She was interning in South Africa for her master's degree. The I interesting part of our conversation was that we talked about the cultural differences in work ethics and healthcare for each country. As I've learned previously, Americans are over worked and basic health needs are often undermet. The lady seemed confused at our not having 4 weeks of vacation or the government not providing home child care services to new mothers. Americans are more overweight than any other group of people because of the types of chemically altered foods our government allows to be sold in the states that are often banned in other parts of the world. Also, we are overworked; often we do not have adequate lunch breaks, vacation time, or support services that put well-being before profits. This is infuriating.

 

After our flight, we grabbed a bite to eat at Nandos, the best soul food restaurant in the country. It was delicious! A few guys noticed that we were Americans and decided to join us at our table as we waited for the others to join us. They knew quite a bit about US politics and asked us our opinions on various topics. However, the topic most interesting to me was that of polygamy. As a devout Christian, I was strongly against this practice. However, after hearing their perspective on the matter...I do not think it is that bad of a concept after all....here is why....I personally do not care to share my lover. Further, I would not want a relationship with someone who has known my lover intimately. However, we have a babdy daddy problem in the USA. Meaning, I'm tired of seeing men having children by multiple women and both parties complaining about one another over social media (who is or is not taking care of business). In the Bible, Paul says that it is good for a man not to have sexual relations, but, if he can not handle that, he should have sexual relations with his own wife. Likewise, I feel that, it us good to only have sexual relations with one's own wife, but, if one cannot handle monogamy, then marry the other women. In countries that practice polygamy, men can only marry multiple wives if he can afford them. Further, he has to provide the same quality of life for all of them. The institution of polygamy could protect the woman, who chooses to  articipate, by ensuring that she and her off spring are taken care of. This arrangement seems more favorable than only being a baby mother where you have no guarantees around your lifestyle. But different strokes for different folks. If I were in that situation, I'd prefer to have legal protections around how he has to care for me and my children.

 


Pictures

Lion Cubs
Lion Cubs
Lion Cubs
 
 

1 Comment

sweet tea:
September 5, 2014
Thanks for sharing! Im so happy for you and look forward to reading more about this trip!!! love u beauty! xoxo
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