Some people have Africa painted as the heart of darkness unknown continent that is filled with danger and poverty. So by in large countries in Africa are not the world’s number one tourist destinations.
Recently I did a field visit with a woman who was visiting Mali for the first time and had never been to Africa before. Now Mali isn’t a great introduction to this continent because things are still very low on the development scale. The woman was saying about how she was nervous coming – nervous about the water, the bugs, the environment, the people. She had spent three weeks in Bamako and while she had a good time she said she was looking forward to going home.
When we got to the community we were visiting we got a chance to talk to women’s groups, our visitor played with kids, she saw our farmer’s harvest and the beauty of the Malian countryside.
After half a day in the community our visitor said that she can see now why we work so hard and why we come to work and then end up staying even though it can be so difficult to live here. By the time we left she was talking about how she could be coming back and has already started planning her next trip.
You can’t help but love this place for all it’s beauty and it’s warts.