Trip Start Jun 30, 2004
18Trip End Sep 15, 2004
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It was quite an interesting trip, to say the only thing working in the airport at Accra is an exageration, the electric doors where too, this made me a little nervous about security (I know its not rational but the meer fact I was flying on september 11th made me slightly nervous!!)
Being back in the UK has made me think alot, initially I got really down and worked up and frustrated, in one of my previous entries
called short random observations
I talked about how the money I spent on sandles could be better spent in Africa, thoughts like this went through my mind so much being back in the UK, it made me wonder again, if say at a typical bar in the UK if people where given in the choice, "you could buy a beer for £2.40, or that money could be used to provide everything a child needs to live healthily and happily in Togo for a week" would they give the money, or just have another beer!! I dont really think people would, whether it is because they are sceptical or are selfish or just are really thirsty!! I dont belive anything like that would ever be possible.
I soon realised this sort of thinking would only lead to me getting depressed!! But it is strange getting back into student life in Leeds, I went through a sort of culture shock (reverese!) the other day when I was just so overwhelmed by how busy noisy and ordered everything was, seriously all the busses zooming past all the white people (I remember telling someone in Togo that there are lots of Black people in the UK!! looking around UNI its safe to say that there arent here, this also struck me as strange, it's sort of fasniobale to be "multi-cultural", its a buzz word, but I wonder how multi-cultural we really are, can a scoeity really be multi-cultural if each "culture" sticks to there ow n part of town and does there own things!!)
I may sound frustrated and like im getting really worked up and going round in circles!but this trip has really helped me, its sort of shown me that there are more important things in life to worry about (for me anyway), I found myself really looking at the photos in the paper of the sudan disaster, not just glanicnig at them as i would have before, really looking at them, I find myself looking at the BBC website (again!!)wondering whether as this story claims people where really better off in colonial times and Im sure as my lectures get underway Im going to be questionaing/annoying my lecturers about what they say!!
Im getting off the point though, I'm embarresed by the state of affairs in Africa, I'm embarresed that "AIDS kills 8,000 people worldwide a day, while another 5,000 die from TB" EVERY DAY!!! I'm embarresed that something like Rwanda could be allowed to happen, and again it looks like awful things are happening in Sudan; I understand that bad things happen everywhere, that peole die everywhere, but what really affects me is that I know people in Ghana and Togo now, I get emails from people that live on the continent that has been used, and discarded by other countries and is now pittied or ignored, poeple know that Africa has been screwed over, but who does anything about it??
Ive begun to realise that in reality I am not enough, I guess its inevitable to feel guilty abouty the privilidged life i lead, now that ive seen the other side, but at the end of the day I have to get on with living my life here.
Ive begun to read more and more of the "africa news" and some of it relly make me mad, but some of it is really good, and it makes me think that whilst I may be powerless now, some people are trying to help, the seemingly small gesture which was got about 6 seconds ont he radio news today of "UK writing off poor nations' debt" is actually a massive step!! and it wil make a difference, and it give me hope that one day the massive divide between the europe/ the west and africa will be healed!!