Africans Aren't Poor

Africans Aren't Poor

Why acknowledging the beauty of other cultures is important.

About a year ago, I went on a trip to Tanzania with a group of students from my university. Our group was a cohort of global scholars, and this was our first trip abroad. We were learning about the healthcare system in Tanzania. I learned so much not only about the healthcare system but about the culture. The biggest lesson I learned was that Africans aren’t poor.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. How could I possibly be saying this when there are constantly commercials littering our television screens giving us proof of their poverty by asking us for our money to feed the starving children or provide them with a mosquito net? From a financial standpoint, you could consider many African countries to be behind or lacking resources in many ways.

What I’m talking about is that they are rich in love, rich in culture and rich in values. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a more welcoming culture in my life, and that made my transition into a completely unexplored environment so much easier. Every time I passed someone at a hospital we visited, or a village we went by, I heard the words “Karibu sana” (which means “You are very welcome” in Swahili).

To me, those words meant so much. To know that I was welcomed into another country (even another continent for that matter) with such love and open arms made me feel at peace. I felt so grateful to be surrounded by a culture that was so loving. We would be on the bus riding to our next destination, and I would look out the window and all it took was to simply make eye contact with somebody and the biggest smile would appear on their face and they would excitedly wave and yell out “Jambo!” (Which means “Hello!” in Swahili.)

These are things we definitely don’t see in America.

Many of you might also think what I saw were streets filled with debris, starving children and poor families begging with looks of despair on their faces. It was quite the contrary. Their culture is remarkable.

Tanzania was full of beautiful landscapes, vibrant colors and lively people to match it. I could see Mount Kilimanjaro from the front porch of the place I slept at every night. I went on an actual safari, and we drove through Tarangire National Park watching giraffes, elephants, zebras, and so many other animals roam free in their natural habitat (it wasn’t a zoo — how cool is that?).

I visited the native Masai Tribe and dressed in their clothes, held their hands and danced with them. I was not only able to observe the culture of Tanzania, but I was able to participate in it. I could completely submerge myself in the experiences I was having so I could really know the true happiness these people feel.

These people may not have everything they want in the world, and they definitely don’t always have everything they need. But they always have enough to live life simply and survive. They are working to live their lives just as we are. They have families to support. We could definitely learn a few things from these people.

This is why they are rich. These people have enough, and they are happy.

So the next time you see a sad commercial about Africa on TV, remember that there are so many people out there waiting to welcome you into the richness of their culture.

If you ever have the opportunity, go for it.

Cover Image Credit: Gabrielle Canterbury

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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6 Reasons Traveling Is Good For Your Mind, Body, And Soul

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.


Have you ever traveled to a new destination and felt your mood instantly improve? Are you like me and feel happiest when you're on vacation? This is because traveling is a way for you to renew your soul and step out of your comfort zone. It keeps you happy and allows you to experience new things.

Visiting new destinations can open your mind to experiences you didn't even know were possible. You can meet new people, fall in love, try new foods, and see remarkable sites all while traveling. There are no limits to the places you can visit, and the things you can see. Currently, I am on a mini weekend trip to Arizona, and being here has opened my eyes and made me realize how impactful traveling really is on your mind, body, and soul. Traveling should be something you do as often as possible and whenever you get the chance. Here's why:

1. Traveling makes your heart happy 

Traveling is something that most people enjoy. It keeps the heart young and childlike. Traveling brings people joy because they get to experience new things that they love with the people they love.

2. It teaches you to embrace every moment 

Traveling can be unpredictable, especially because you are experiencing new things. Although it can be challenging, we learn best from these unpredictable moments. When we travel we learn to embrace every situation that is thrown at us.

3. Traveling relieves stress and improves mental health 

Traveling reduces stress and allows you to relax. More often than not, you take off work when you go on vacation and you focus on renewing your self. You get away from all the crazy things going on in your life, and you can just relax and focus on your own happiness.

4. It broadens your horizons 

Traveling lets you branch out and experience different cultures. You can try new foods, new activities, and meet all different types of people. You learn diversity, and you learn respect for other people and their culture's. Traveling helps you learn other perspectives around the world and lets your mind think in ways it never has before.

5. It keeps you healthy 

Traveling actually plays a big part in your physical health as well. During vacations, you often walk a lot to destinations and participate in calorie burning activities like hiking and swimming. Activities like these are often why you still are able to get your workout in while on vacation.

6. Traveling reminds you what is important 

Most importantly, traveling reminds you of the important things in life. We live day by day forgetting that every moment is remarkable. Sometimes, we get stuck in the same old boring routine and take for granted the life we have been given. Traveling reminds us that memories are valuable and that our lives should be cherished.

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