Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Day II -- Africa
Today was considered the official kick-off day, which featured welcome addresses from various Prime Ministers of Africa and Former and Present Political Leaders of Africa as well. The welcome addresses provided each stakeholder's vision, agenda and perspectives ... and because I prefer to stay as objective as I possible can in my own blog, I will not identify who was who, but I will discuss my views on what was disclosed. My reason(s) for doing this is not because I do or do not believe in what they are campaigning for, I just want to ensure my readers are afforded the ability to authentically communicate their views without having a predisposed bias about an individual they've heard about before.
Malabo, Equatorial Guinea is well-documented as being a gloomy country that's underdeveloped despite there being an oil industry that has consistently flourished in recent years. Speaking to my latter acknowledgement this was brought up numerous times throughout the opening orations ... and if I tap into my economics (minute, but sufficient enough to believe there's validity) I would have to say that having access to oil is synonymous with having $$$. Therefore, when I hear verbiage that speaks about wealth and ensuring progress for people and the country, but there are displaced tangible resemblance in the streets, roads and homes I've witnessed as I've traveled to immaculate constructed buildings that are tightly secured even after driving through a check point where the passengers are required to walk 15 feet to be manually checked while the vehicle goes through a security sensor, I'm simply perplexed.
Yes, I know and believe that success is a process, especially when one is referring to restructuring a country ... however, can success be attainable when there is spoken language that hears "If you don't like what we're doing ... This is how we do things ..."? Upon hearing these statements and giving the respect that because there's an obvious foundational element in that there's the expectation one understanding of the needs are far deeper than my own analysis, I still miss heard diplomacy. Therefore, I'm conflicted on whether or not capitalism is the priority and the well-being of the direct stakeholders and beneficiaries are subsequent.
In closing, there's the reality that what we're facing in today's world is that we all need each other in some form or fashion. Not to say that we're all handicapped by one another, I'm simply indicating that one's country inability is another country's ability. To this end, I'm challenged to think of the handicaps I possess during the reconstruction of my desires to improve my own abilities to professionally and socially positively impact my community, society, and those individuals I encounter.
Malabo, Equatorial Guinea 5:50 pm (+5 hours EST).
"As Always, Stay Inspired..."
Monday, August 20, 2012
Day I - Africa
So far so good considering the various logistical occurrences that have happened. For starters, my initial perspective revolves around the access to water, the mere notion that as an American, I have not taken the opportunity to become fluent in another language and my first exposure to how some individuals here are living.
"I am humbled" about how water is highly revered here and to think how we/I take for granted that the water we use to simply brush our teeth is safe to use. Here, the water is considered unsafe and could be detrimental to one's health. Thus far, I have gone through the day asking myself "how will I get enough water to drink and use today that will be sufficient enough to serve my various needs"? My one solution has been to heat my water up in the coffee pot in my room and reuse one of my recycled water bottles, by refilling the container with the hot water, so that by the time I needed to use the water, the water would at least be at room temp. While this is a hurdle that can be slightly curtailed, my inability to effectively and efficiently communicate with the countrymen is troublesome to me.
The common language spoken here is Spanish while French is another tongue that is secondarily used. In short, if there are individuals who speak various languages and I only speak one, how can I really compete and be effective in an interdependent world that is constantly evolving?
Lastly, I'm Staying at the Hilton Hotel which is located a few meters (1/4 mile) away from the country's International Airport (an airport that's measurably small) is nicely built and quite charming with fairly good security. However, right across the street from the hotel there's a two-story home/hut/shack where the occupants are constantly seen outside in an unemotional stare that could be considered dire, hopeless, and institutionalized. The occupants provision have various windows on the first floor, where the inside is visibly hallow and from a distance feels cold. The second floor is covered from atop, but is surrounded by the country's climate and is accessed by a 10-foot ladder that is housed outside. To bare witness to this, is... (speechless).
Malabo, Equatorial Guinea 11:10 am (+5 hours EST).
"As Always, Stay Inspired..."