Africa is a Continent that is so mysterious and beautiful and yet also dangerous and ugly at the same time.
I say this not to scare, but to tell you that you need an adventure. I have been fortunate to have grown and lived on the mother continent. If I went into too much detail, I would be writing a novel and boring whoever is reading this so I will talk about the continent in general terms so as to share my different experiences.
Its many experiences and many lessons have taught me to become the person I am today. See, a lot of what people see on television portraying Africa is mostly negative. It is a place with droughts, famines, war torn areas, and poor people living in slums. The truth is a lot of those problems are real. Most of the governments are corrupt, which makes the poverty levels extremely high.
Africa is also beautiful, and the people love tourists. Hospitality is a big part of African culture and we love having people from all over the world coming to the continent to share in amazing experiences, learning about nature and diverse wildlife. A place where wild animals roam free, lions camouflaged in the Savannah, elephants and giraffes patrol majestically in the shadow of the warm beautiful African sun.
Africa also faces a huge problem with growing populations encroaching on protected territories reserved for wildlife. In some areas, poachers still roam around looking for an opportunity to kill elephants for their tusks or rhinos for their horns. Thankfully, governments have seen the tremendous value of wildlife and are doing a lot more to protect some of these species.
Africa is also entrenched with history; History that details the slave trade, and the impact it had on both the east and west coast of the continent. History of the great Giza pyramids in the north, the rock hewn underground churches of Lalibela, and the beautiful coasts of South Africa.
The main religions practiced are Christianity and Islam and unfortunately many times this has led to conflict.
Africa is like a different planet, life moves a little slower, loud music fills the streets, and kids play soccer on the side of the road. Everybody knows everybody, and even though poverty is immense, the people find a way to laugh and joke with one another. Africa teaches you to be grateful of one another, even the pain brings people closer and also strengthens their resolve. A resilient spirit seems to find you when you visit Africa. This continent shows you both the good and ugly in everything.
So if you’re still wondering about Africa, you need to go find out for yourself. Live, Love and Learn.
Alvin Kaswarra is a 24 year old born in Uganda, raised in Ethiopia, and studied at a University in Kenya. It’s his experince living all over East Africa, and the US, that gives him a unique perspective to what Africa as a whole is all about. He currently resides in Gilbert, Arizona where he is a student and works as a logistics analyst.