Wednesday, February 15, 2012
It's all part of the ride!
Life here in Africa can be full of all sorts of frustrations. Some of them are little things like not being able to get the brand of item you really want from the store (they call them supermarkets, but there is not much SUPER about them).
Some of the frustrations really big things, like having a Dala dala (mini bus, taxi) hurtling toward you on your side of the road as it overtakes on a blind corner.
There are other frustrations like dealing government officials. Many of the police officers and office workers press you hard for bribes just to do the work they are paid for anyway. Traffic police will stop you and look for some petty reason to extort some money out of you, "tea money".
Office workers will stop your paperwork going through because you have not given them a gift, and what should take hours can take weeks or even months!
It would be easy to let these frustration wear you down like a river on a stone. I have seen people who's frustrations overflow and get mad, but that does not work here. "Hakuna Matata" (no worries) is all you will get back.
No! The way to deal with it all is like I read recently in a book about a man traveling through Africa in a 4X4. The author was bewailing his frustrations to a fellow traveler. This traveling philosopher replied, "Relax, its all part of the ride!"
He was right. Living in Africa is like living on this huge theme park ride! Some things are not so great, and can be down right frustrating, but just around the corner.... another adventure!
There are so many great things her that we have lost in the West. Things like curtesy - even though the driving is atrocious I have NEVER seen any road rage. You come to a grid locked intersection and people will smile, wait for you and let you through!
You meet such wonderful people here, so friendly and kind - we have made friends for life.
So, yes there are frustrations, but they are just part of the ride.
Sit down, do up your seat belt up and enjoy it!