When you think of Africa, what do you think about? Do you think about Tarzan swinging through the Jungle? Or do you think about war, famine, and genocide ? With the news mainly reporting on the negativity in the world, where do you search to find out the truth about a continent that I love.
I consider myself a global citizen. This is because I have had the opportunity to travel and live in different countries throughout the world. I consider myself to be openminded but I also acknowledge that I might have some preconcivied ideas about certain parts of the world, and realize others do as well, especially when it comes to Africa.
Depending on where you come from , you may have a certain imagre of Africa that has somehow shaped your feelings about the continent that probably stops you from considering visiting Africa. I am here to share that Africa is a continent full of beauty and resources, but this is often times overhadowed by the negative news that is reported over everything else. I find it is upto Africans like myself to do our part in show casing the Africa that is beautiful and full of potential.
I was recently inspired to take my co-workers and a group of ladies to Tanzania and show them the Africa that I love. As I have gotten to know people they have become open enough to share certain beliefs that they had about Africa. My one co-worker was honest enough to share that she was scared to visit Africa because of the Imags of Africa she grew up with. These showed Africa as a dark continent full of disease, poverty, and uneducated people. I therefore made it my mission to show people what Africa truly has to offer. To my delight six wonderful women signed up for my Tanzanian Retreat including my one co-worker who had the misconstrued image of Africa. I am further delighted to share they have since become great Ambassadors for Africa.
We were fortunate to expereince different aspects of the Tanzanian culture. We visited amangst other places 1) The base of Mount Kilimanjaro and we got to explore some beautiful waterfalls. 2) We learned about how caves were used for shelter and protection during tribal wars in the late 18th century. 3) We learned the natural process of making coffee.
We had the opportunity to expereince life as it is lived by one of the tribal groups, The MaSaai, we did this by visiting and spending time at one of their villages. Can you imagine having multiple wives, well this is one of the traditions the men have happily maintained. We visited the Ngorongoro crater and saw different species of animals. We visited SerengetiNational park which covers an area of almost 12 thousand miles of land. Serengeti is best known for its huge herd of plain animals where vastvland animal migrations still take place. The Tanzanian government has ensured the protectionb of these animals with the strict enforcement of their animal protection laws.
Just a week before our arrival a tour guide Safari driver had his license revoked and recieved a huge fine for allowing a tourist to open a Safari Car door while they were watching some animals, Serengeti National Park is also on the United NAtions Eductional , Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage list. If you were to ask my wonderful guests what they though about their Safari expereince, they will be sure to say that they will never visit a Zoo again.
We spent nine days that were filled with memories and adventures, We saw poverty and we saw wealth, but above all we saw a proud people . We saw villagers that lived with no running water or electricity and we also got to stay in a luxury vills that had both running water and a swimming pool and a gorgeous sight of Mount Kilimajaro (when she decided to show herself).I am not denying that there is poverty and disease in Africa but this is not all there is, just like in the United States we also have problems such as inflation , corruption and homelessness.
Now lets talk about Tanzanite, it is a gemstone with only one single source that has become one of the most intriguing and desireable gemstones of modern times. Tanzanite is 1000 times rarer than diamonds… so you bet we all become collectors of Tanzanite. As much activity as we had we also found time te relax with some yoga as well as learn how to make jewellery with beads from some local Masaai Women.
I have left the best for last, lets talk about the food…. it was all amazing where would I even start. All I know is I piled on some major pounds but it was all worth it.
I end with this, If you truly want to know what Africa is like, Forget what you see on Television. Go see it in person and form your own opinions, and might I suggest visiting Tanzania, trust me you wont be dissappointed.