Updated: May 1, 2020
"Smooth Seas do not make skillful sailors" - African Proverb
The great mystery of this world is that it is filled with both joy and hardship, and there is no place like Africa to experience the wholeness of this Truth. There is a certain rawness to life in Africa that I appreciate. It wasn't until I was an adult that I came to understand how my childhood in Africa gave me the tools I needed to deal with adversity and find appreciation even in the hardest moments.
A brief glimpse of my childhood: I was one when my family moved to Nigeria. My father was a teacher and was placed at a boarding school in a remote area of Nigeria north east of Lagos. Granted I only have a few memories of our 3 years here, it is the stories my parents tell us that has rooted my appreciation for how easy my life is comparatively. Like many others living in the area, we had no electricity, no running water, and we were a family of 5 with 3 kids all under the age of 5. Life was basic. Malaria was rampant and my mother has stories of all of us getting sick, a lot; including herself four days after giving birth to my sister.
We survived. We also had the privilege of choice. We had chosen to enter into these circumstance, which means we also had a safety bridge of leaving if things got too bad. Most in Africa do not. Bless my parents, they accepted this lifestyle and even learned how to thrive. Their choice gave us the foundation of our perspectives later on in life.