mary kariuki

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If you have NEVER been to Africa, when someone mentions "Africa" or you hear "Africa", what is the FIRST thing that comes into your mind?

People associate different regions/continent based on media, informational material, myths, stereotypes and such. The main idea of this discussion is to find out what people who never had "first hand experience" think about the continent. Thanks for your contribution.

  • Apr 2 2013: sunshine, dust, golden grass, wide open spaces, people having conversations with each other, even if they are on opposite sides of the road, beautiful sunsets, dancing, singing, girls doing each others hair, easy smiles, water shortages, warm rain, the smell of warm asphalt, wild life, poaching, citrus fruits fresh from the tree, little black flies, which get into the corners of your eyes... I could go on for ever... but I shouldn't really be filling this is, I was born in Zimbabwe and lived there the first 19 years of my life :)
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      Apr 4 2013: Hey Doreen,

      Hahhahahahahah......yes people having conversations with each other, even if they are on opposite sides of the road...and to add to your thought Doreen, Yes in Kenya we shout at each other when we are on opposite ridge.....lol.....
      Lol.....At first Doreen I wondered where you got all those right thoughts before I read the last part....born in Zimbabwe...that explains why you describe our beautiful Africa so well.
      Thanks for contributing.....
      Is Doreen Visser a Zimbabwean name?
      Love, Mary
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    Mar 31 2013: Unfortunately my perception is one that has been greatly influenced by the media. First thoughts that arise are those of; chaos, hunger, famine, and poverty. Also, danger in every corner due to so many predators. However, upon further introspection i remember that the media is just another capitalist business and that negativity sells more then positivity.
    I would love to visit Africa and experience first hand.
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      Apr 1 2013: Hey Noel,
      Thanks for the comment and your perception about media. I love the fact that you want to visit Africa and experience first hand. You won't be disappointed, in fact you will ask why you did not visit earlier on. Welcome to Africa soonest.

      Love, Mary
  • Mar 31 2013: I think of lions and zebras and giraffes and elephants.
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      Apr 2 2013: Hey Brigit,
      Thanks for your lovely thought. Yes Africa is full of lovely fascinating animals.....
      You should definitely pay a visit and enjoy nature and lovely people.

      Love, Mary
  • Mar 31 2013: 1st thoughts: People: black, colorful, poor; Land: hot and barren, or humid...lots of insects.
    2nd thoughts: corruption, tribalism, instability, violence

    I am well aware that these thoughts represent stereotypes and are not completely in tune with reality. After all, to put a single face on an entire continent is a pretty gross parody.

    In reality, I believe Africa to be an extremely diverse mix of people and culture,varying widely from region to region. However, in spite of this, I think that a couple of generalizations can apply to the African continent. First, I believe Africa in general is still suffering from the effects of colonialism. What effects? For example, the unequal distribution of wealth, political instability, etc.

    I also believe that Africa is seen by much of the rest of the world as a 'black hole.' Many don't really know, or want to know, what is going inside and are happy to remain that way. For example, Stephen Lewis, a Canadian who was a UN envoy to Africa, came back to Canada and wrote a book about his experience there. He got a little spot on the news, but now no one remembers his name. It just wasn't seen as important. Maybe if we were building a pipeline....
  • Mar 29 2013: Hey Mary,

    I am really glad you started this thread, I am getting to learn a lot more about Africa, and yes, I would definitely want to visit some day.

    I studied Art History in university and since then, I've been obsessed with learning more about ancient history through art and architecture. Africa has one of the richest histories in the whole world, and much of it still remains undiscovered. There is soo much to learn from the ancient artifacts and legends and traditions - science, how they read nature and developed a really strong and effective system of medicine, how they aligned the architectural monuments to the earth's most intense magnetic fields and to the stars, and.. a lot still has to be discovered.

    And then there is the spiritual side. I have read a lot in religious philosophy about spiritual awakening from the ancient methods used by some tribes in Africa, I like to think their proximity and understanding of nature helps them with discovering methods of synchronizing with the earth, and I would love to explore that.

    I can go on and on about this, but I think you get a fair idea? :)

    Garima
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      Apr 2 2013: Hey Garima,
      Thanks for your comment and definitely yes I agree with your judgement about Africa rich histories. It amazing to me when I read so much about Africa even though I am African I can't stop thinking on our mathematical, medicine prowess. I just wonder what might have gone wrong? With all this amazing history and then the current reality and there must be a disconnect. Sometime I just think that as Africans we lost our self-power/self trust along the way. I hope we will reclaim the power as individual as well as a continent.
      Can't agree more on the spirituality issue, though the western religion make so many people confused and ignorant. Yes it is in Africa that you are likely to find spiritual awakened people while at the same time you find religious fanatics who follow things blindly. In my opinion, I think religion has a role to play in Africa poverty.

      Yes, you definitely have to go to Africa and start with Kenya...lol...am just advertising my birth country.....

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 3 2013: Hi, I think of the people as the first image that comes to mind. Probably Africain people I've met in my life and from photographes. Sort of striking and strong looking with beautiful dark skin.
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      Apr 4 2013: Hey Hee-Jin Kim,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.....and the vote of beauty among African...I am right now smiling......:)...proudly dark skin.......and YES, I agree some African can be strong especially from West Africa...

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 2 2013: The first thing that came to my mind was the panoramic scene from Pride Rock [from the Lion King].
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      Apr 4 2013: Hey Stella,

      Oh my God Stella...I am African but never watched the Lion King.....ohh....I will definitely check the plot and maybe watch the movie to identify with your panoramic scene.....
      Did you enjoy the movie?.....Did you watch it on channel or video...thanks...

      Love, Mary
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    Apr 2 2013: The first thing that came to my mind when I asked myself this question is wildlife, I see a green tree I don't know the species. The weather is cool sunlight is bright yellow in color. And there are some animals grazing. This is the picture which I see whenever I think about Africa.
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      Apr 4 2013: Hey Rhitik,

      100% right on your first thoughts. Yes animal grazing in open space is very common in Africa. And yes...trees of different species...wildlife....lovely tourist attraction ( I am enticing you to visit)......I would bet on average Africa has the best weather in the world...
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts...

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 2 2013: The first thing that comes to my mind is to build up a bridge to connect Africa and Brazil, and then unify African and Brazilian passports. As a Brazilian, I really miss a closer contact with Africans as we're very resemblant. Actually, I cannot think Brazil without thinking Africa!!! We're like brothers and sisters!!! I love Africa and Africans, and hope one day, we'll be only one nation!!! Thank you for being!!! Gerdson Mourão
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      Apr 4 2013: Hey Gerdson,
      Oh my God, what a wonderful soccer team that can make...and yes, our African football (soccer) will become more interesting to watch with some "Ronaldo" in it....I love hearing my brothers argue about their favorite soccer players...And yes Africans are great and so much in common with Brazilan. I had a couple of Brazilian students...and gee....they were friendly and great......If Brazil becomes part of Africa...it better be located next to Kenya......Looking forward to one big nation....Just love the yellow and green colors.....
      Love, Mary
  • Mar 31 2013: My first thought was to draw on a geographical picture of the shape of the continent. After I honed in on the continent itself I immediately thought of the coastal slave trade and slavery of the country, Armistad..the movie. This left a negative feeling in my head. I tried to envision the grasslands, waterfalls, rainforests and big game. Next, I thought about the diamond mining of the country. Again, a negative picture of the horrid working conditions, starvation, unsanitary conditions, death and greed crept in. As I continued to think about it I remember the stories I have read about child rape and disease and Oprah's schools. This was though provoking for me. I now realize many of my thoughts are based on primarily on negative snipits of news, media and articles. Some were positive, but more of a macabre feeling settled than happy thoughts. Oddly it seemed for every negative memory I tried to counteract it with a positive memory. Hmmm....maybe a commenter therapist can explain this to me? :)
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      Apr 1 2013: Hey Melissa,

      I am just laughing reading the last part of your comment....(Hmmm....maybe a commenter therapist can explain this to me? :)
      I just love the way, you had to pause for a moment and genuinely think about Africa. It is such a great way to evaluating how you feel or you see Africa. Yes, the negative thoughts are mostly from media and yes, there have to be so many, because our media is a guru of negatives. You did a very great job trying to think of positives about our dear Africa. And yes, there are so many positives only the media does not focus on them. May be it is time, we just have a media focusing only on positives and productive things only...

      "Oddly it seemed for every negative memory I tried to counteract it with a positive memory"
      What are some of the positives memory if you don't mind sharing?

      Love, Mary
      • Apr 2 2013: Hi Mary,
        I worked in retail sales for about 15 years before feeling I could afford to pursue my real love, teaching. I am trained as a GIA certified gemologist. I have a love for beautiful gems, especially diamonds and tanzanite. These beautiful stones are mined in the killing fields of Africa. So much of Africa's beauty is marred by horrid irony. The lands and animals are splendid, yet they are riddled with poaching and needless killing. I have never been there but my Grandmower ( a name given to a grandmother who gardens a great deal :)) went and shared her experiences, videos, pictures). The beauty of the cultural dances, colors and family bonding is scarred by the rape of innocent children and spiritual belief that virgin sex brings favor. The diseases including venereal, malaria and lack of healthy resources in the midst of so many natural resources in itself is ironic. I know these people have been exploited; by their own and outsiders. It too is a sad irony. To have so much as a society yet yield so little for the person and individual. In some ways I can see America in this way too. Immoral, unethical and spiritually dead, exploited ( from my judo-Christian perspective which I am fully enculturated in). The collective is only as powerful as the individuals that form it. In my mind I would love to visit the continent. The rain-forests, landscapes, local flavor, the opportunity to interact with the children and show love and experience acceptance to this culture would be incredible. But not to admit it to be a little daunting would be disingenuous. Oddly I too see my visit as a dichotomy. I want to go and see all the beauty but don't want to embrace the unsightly, ugly truth. I suppose the optimist in me attempts to negate that unhappy with happy. Again, this perspective of mine is a qualitative research hypothesis waiting to happen! LOL. Thank you for this dialogue, I think it is beautiful.
        Love, Melissa
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          Apr 4 2013: Hi Melissa,
          LOL... start with thanking you for thinking this conversation is beautiful....Yes...I have learnt and shared so much with lovely people and congratulations on following your dreams...I just love your professional name "gemologist". I agree with your analysis, for every bad there is good. Africa is like sweet soar grape....we love the sweetness and beauty of Africa but as individuals myself included we have to deal with soarness too...otherwise...we never will eat the grape. Africans just need to change.....But before we change Africa, I would tend to think and encourage you to visit and embrace both sweet and sour...you will be glad you did. Visit Africa and experience
          I am from a middle income family...and just 3 homes from my parents...stand this poor homestead...i used to feel guilty when I was eating and thinking about the family members who had to toil and sweat to afford a meal...So I resulted to stealing my mum's maize, potatoes, pumpkins and sneaking to this family. My point is I never understood why my sooo religiously villagers did not do something to uplift this family...I was young by then)....I have grown to understand that Africans on average need a turnabout in our thinking....spirtuality and also "seeing". The religion in my country is no longer opening sight...instead it is making people follow blindly.....

          Love, Mary
  • Mar 31 2013: African safaris,
    Poverty
    Inter-tribal wars
    Corrruption
  • Mar 31 2013: I made a point of not reading the other responses so they wouldn't influence my response.

    The first thing I think...Africa is a large continent of diverse countries and cultures that is perceived as an undifferentiated mass by the majority of the world.(somewhat idealized and somewhat persecuted)

    The second thing I think...My image of Africa has been shaped by National Geographic.

    The third...I have a deep connection to the raw beauty of African expression.

    ...it's clear to me it's impossible for me to encapsulate Africa in a simple concise response.
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      Apr 2 2013: Hey Gord,

      Great tactic for not reading the responses. And yes, you are on key point that majority of people miss.....Africa is large (2nd largest after Asia, with more than 50 countries, more than 800 languages). Each countries has varieties of cultures and ethnic languages.
      Your second thought is key and similar to most people who never been to Africa...mainly because of national geographic channels. ( Yes safaris are great and lovely.....you are welcome to visit Africa)
      Your third thought is most beautiful......."raw beauty"......Lovely
      Thanks for your thoughts and contribution........Yes Africa is more than the 3 thoughts however, you did a great job sharing what first comes into your mind when you think of Africa....
      Love, Mary
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    Mar 31 2013: I love everything about Africa especially our music. Here in Abu Dhabi, there was a restaurant in Shangri La Hotel that has African crew members and they performed a lovely African birthday song for my father-in-law and I enjoyed it very much. I'm sure Africa is so much more beautiful than I picture it in my head.

    Since I'm in the Middle East, Africa is closer and I can't wait to go to see your beautiful country. :D
  • Mar 29 2013: I think to an Incontaminated area, out of the time.....mentally rich ,but weak in comparison to the colonialist that have exploited them for thousand years.
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      Apr 2 2013: Hey Sirio,
      I can't agree more...."mentally rich ,but weak in comparison to the colonialist that have exploited them for thousand years. " Yes Africans need to know their real power and smell the coffee.....

      Love, Mary
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    Mar 29 2013: big, hot, powerful, oppressed, dignity
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      Apr 2 2013: Hey Johanna,

      Yes Africa is very big...2nd largest continent. Perfect weather for most countries and yes dignity. Oppression is there too and Africans need to realize their inherent power and awake.....
      Thanks for beautiful comment.......Yes to all Powerful Africans out there......

      Love, Mary
  • Mar 28 2013: Depending on the mood, it can be three very different things that strike my mind the moment I think about Africa - (1) Very dense beautiful forests and landscapes, waterfalls and rivers, flourishing wildlife, tribes living in harmony with nature - partially unaffected by media and technology, elders who know how to celebrate nature and life (not sure why I always visualize elders or children in this place) and then all the international cricket teams!!! (2) The pyramids, ancient architecture and artifacts that speak a lot about human history - hieroglyphics and ancient languages that have yet to be deciphered. Knowledge! Mathematics, astronomy, medicine. Intense, rich culture. Spiritual realizations!! (3) Poverty, proximity to diseases and the amazing immune system that comes along with it. Dark skin and eyes that offer a ton of protection against the harmful radiations from the sun!
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      Mar 29 2013: Hey Garima,Wooah, I love your train of thoughts and the way moods influence your perception of Africa. I am glad 2 of the thoughts are positive and only one is negative.....that a sure win for me expecting you to visit Africa sometime in future.
      I love number 2 most especially "Knowledge! Mathematics, astronomy, medicine. Intense, rich culture. Spiritual realizations"....where did you learn all this?

      Love, Mary
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    Mar 25 2013: Without any attempt at hypocrisy or sycophancy, I think most citizens of Europe and North America will see Africa through the eyes of the Western media's portrayal of endless senseless wars, diseases, famine and poverty (and maybe wild animals).
    Only a few would know that there are 53 countries in this huge continent, and that most of this countries have happy and healthy citizens.
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    Mar 22 2013: lol ok I'm cheating, you can disqualify me later since I have been there before and currently am in. The first thing that would come to my mind when people say I want to go to Africa is that, "I hope they know its not a country but a continent, since even Ghana and Nigeria are so different in culture but yet they share a border." (sry I am answering a completely different question)
    • Mar 23 2013: Benjamin Abegunde.....where have you been??

      Glad to see you here again......hopefully you have made great strides in stopping your countrymen with acquiescing to suffering?

      Welcome back!
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      Mar 23 2013: Benjamin,
      I cheated too because I've been to Egypt......BUT......my impression of Egypt, was more like my imagination/perception of the Middle East, rather than Africa....not surprising becaue it is close. So, I understand what you are saying when you remind us that each area of Africa is very different:>)
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        Mar 23 2013: Colleen, you have to pay for cheating...send me virtual hug we settle. I agree with your view about Egypt; more of Middle East than Africa, I share the same sentiment. And surely Benjamin raised an important point of Africa misconceived by some as a country, and to add to that misconception, I have met people who ask me whether we share backyard with monkeys.....I wish we did....
        Love,

        Mary
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          Mar 23 2013: Dear Mary,
          I will take my punishment with pleasure....consider yourself hugged....many times:>)

          I live in Vermont, which is a very tiny state in the northeast, USA, next to NY. and people way out west, in the very large states sometimes think we are part of the state of NY! LOL! Our states are very different in some ways as well:>)

          Have you heard of the true story and book "King Peggy"? You are right....I like to read! She's right near you in Washington D.C., and maybe you could connect with her? I think of this because of your homesickness, which Kate expertly flushed out!

          Peggielene Bartels is from Ghana, came to the US as a young woman and worked at the Embassy of Ghana in DC since 1970....the last I knew, she still works there part of the time. She got a call from a relative in Ghana in 2008 telling her that she was the new "king" of the town of Tantum. The fascinating true story, as told in her book "King Peggy" tells us a lot about her adjustment in going back to Ghana, where I think she still spends some of her time as a ruler:>)

          There are several links on- line about her and here is one:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peggielene_Bartels

          Sending you love and hugs,
          Colleen
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          Mar 23 2013: Hello Mary, do you rent your backyard for elderly monkeys? :)
          When I think of Africa, I feel I have cousins there.
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          Mar 23 2013: I would let him into my backyard anytime Mary. I think he is a pretty good ol' chimp:>)
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        Mar 25 2013: Hey Colleen,
        Thanks for the hug...I feel better now.

        And yes, Vermont is never a state to me....thanks for reminding me...Before coming to US, I thought US is NY and California. Yes I was shocked to discovery 50+ states.
        Seriously, if was testing and was asked whether Vermont is a City or State, I would have proudly stated a "City", and start bragging about how I aced my American geography test....

        Thanks for Peggielene information and the links, I will surely check it out. Never heard of her before. Will update you after reading.

        Thanks for hugs and love....I feel less homesick....

        Love,
        Mary
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          Mar 25 2013: Hey Mary,
          I thought Africa was a "City" too....LOL:>) So, you discovered that there are a couple states between NY and CA? We are both doing good in geography!!!

          Glad you feel less homesick,.glad you are here in the US, and glad you are here on TED.
          More hugs and love coming your way:>)
          Colleen
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    Apr 20 2013: I am back again....I did my best to reply and share with fellow contributor. If I missed your thoughts...I beg your pardon.....and leave you with a big hug and love & peace.....
    Love, Mary
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      Apr 20 2013: Great job facilitating this conversation Mary. It has been interesting, fun, and educational:>)
      Hugs, peace and love to you too my friend:>)
  • Apr 20 2013: Mountains, Nature and awesome music and rhythms.
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      Apr 20 2013: Hey Ban,
      Thanks for sharing and yes you are right...pay a visit and witness the beauty....
  • Apr 20 2013: Unfortunately, the first things that come into my mind are poverty and the aids epidemic. And the fact that there is a surprising amount of discriminatory policies in Canada regarding Africains and the continent in general. For instance, the first time I donated blood I had to fill out a questionnaire to see if I met the criteria of a successful candidate. Among some of the ridiculous questions (had I handled monkey fluids?), one question in particular stood out to me: Have you ever been to Africa? In the event that you had been, you would not be able to donate blood. To this day this still sounds ridiculous to me.
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      Apr 20 2013: Hey Jessica,
      Thanks for sharing your thought. OMG......it is ridiculous to me too. After reading your example and I didn't know what to say other than it is quite ridiculous....
      And yes Africans faces challenges such as poverty and diseases...the great thing is that Africa as a continent coupled with caring people outside Africa has more resources and power to overcome some of this challenges. I hope we move to this direction of solving our issues soon than later.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 20 2013: jungle lions and large spiders! lol
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      Apr 20 2013: Hey Ian,
      Thanks for sharing your thought....The king of the jungle...I am scared now of those crawling thing..however small it is....
      Love,Mary
  • Apr 19 2013: What does the word "Africa" mean to me? I am obsessed with the word since childhood. It brings so many thoughts into me mind..all wonderful ones. I have never been to Africa but it has always been my wish to go there. To me Africa is a wonderland...filled with so much natural beauty...the place where still the wonder of creation can still be experienced.
    I am a white person but I envy the beauty of dark-skinned people. To me they are what I wish everyone looked like. To me they are the perfect example of what each and every person should look like. Now I know by saying that, that this may upset some people, but you did ask what the word "Africa" brings to the minds of people. That and many more thoughts about Africa spring to mind. I (even though I have never been there) have fallen in love with Africa and its people since I was a very young child.
    i know that Africa had (and still has) its own troubles. So had we in Ireland. Every country in the world has had its times of turmoil. Yet...in spite of all of that the people who really matter remain beautiful. The countries continue to be beautiful. The wonderful cultures remain. Sadly, Africa is the HOME that I will never know. Ahh I had better stop. I just love Africa. Denis xxx
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      Apr 20 2013: Hey Denis,
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts courageous.I totally agree with your view about Africa...yes it is a "wonderland". Dark people are beautiful and so is everyone else....I think having varieties of color in the universe adds to the touch of beauty. Make your dream come true and visit Africa....it is beautiful and you might be tempted to settle there....so be prepared when you travel. Wish you all the best. Every part of the world has it own challenges.. it is matter of accepting and looking for ways to make life more meaningful and better. Enjoy Ireland...and visit your other home (Africa)
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 19 2013: Whoopi Goldberg reunited with her children in "The Color Purple" :)
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      Apr 20 2013: Hey Anna,
      I read "The Color Purple" amazing moving book. It is a great thought that you share with us.
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 19 2013: And yellow.
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      Apr 20 2013: Again Mathew.

      Lol...Yellow...beautiful bright color...I would associate that with ripe bananas.....
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 19 2013: Green and Red.
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      Apr 20 2013: Hey Mathew,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts....Green in Kenya means peace and vegetation, while red is used in national flag in remembrance of blood and war during freedom fight.
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 19 2013: When I hear Africa, I first imagine nature (safari, desert, forests), then tribes, black people, colonisation and the problems (or wars) it caused. I think most of the problems the continent has today is caused by colonisation.
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      Apr 20 2013: Hey Volja,
      Thanks for sharing. Your thought is on point and I tend to concur that majority of challenges faced by Africans is because of colonization. Then I become hopefully that Africans has what it takes to overcome the challenges.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 19 2013: when I think about Africa, the first thoughts hit on me,, dangerous...
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      Apr 20 2013: Hey Sanghoon,
      Thanks for sharing. Yes Africa is dangerous just like any other part of the world. However danger of frog in the water never discouraged cows from drinking water. Sometimes life becomes more meaningful when we step out of fear and explore....
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 19 2013: Amazingly bright colors
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      Apr 20 2013: Hey Aaron,
      Thanks for sharing and you are very right. Bright colors ranging from blue sky to sunset to African attires....
      Visit and make sure you take as many phots as possible....I love your profile pic...
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 19 2013: Music, drums and dance.
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      Apr 20 2013: Hey Pablo,
      Thanks for sharing your thought....African music is diverse....exotic dances and drums...make sure you visit and share the dance floor with dancers....lol...I am dancing now.
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 18 2013: The SA cricket team :)
    Think Africa has huge potential in terms of their natural resources, minerals, energy sources which are not been utilized to the fullest. Effective utilization of these resources could eventually make the nation top in the charts.
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      Apr 20 2013: Hey Jiben,
      Thanks so much for contributing. And your thought is perfect Africa has so much potential.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 18 2013: I think of Africa as an endowed, beautiful continent with all potentials and resources but unlucky
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      Apr 20 2013: Hey Mukasa,
      Thanks for your perfect thoughts....Make sure you visit Africa and witness it beauty.
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 18 2013: First Part

    On maps dating from 1600 to 1700 AD, the name "Africa" ​​does not yet exist, to refer to the territory, there was talk of land of Ethiopia, land of "Cham" land of "Cush" land of "Sheba" to refer to the black descendants of Noah in Cham was one of three son of Noah who was black. These lands were named "IFRIQIYA" (Africa) after the invasion of the Arab kings of Yemen, which bore the name "Ifriqos bin Qais bin Saifi," the king will seize land North (Maghreb, etc..), and therefore they bear the name referring to him, that is to say "Ifriqya" (Africa). You should know that originally, only the Romans called "Africa" ​​the northern part of the continent.

    - The Europeans use the word Africans who originated the word Ifriqiya name of a Berber tribe that settled in Roman times, between Tunisia and eastern Algeria.

    - The Arabs refer to us by the word Sudan meaning black, and our continent AlKabulan meaning one who knows how to receive.

    - The Greeks designated us by the word Ethiopians meaning Face Burned, Libya and the word meant our continent (Herodotus, The History, History IV 22 and 42).

    - As for the Jews, designated us by the word Koushim and our continent by the word Kush, named BaKouSou one of our people of Zaire (Jeremiah 13: 23 and Zephaniah 3: 10).

    It is important to note that Chapter 10 of the Book of Genesis mentions three continents and calls the current African continent with the old name "KaM", the diminutive of "Kama".

    The root word "Kama" is pervasive among many peoples of Central Africa, West Africa.

    The original inhabitants of ancient Egypt were blacks, and black peoples of Africa are directly related to the history of Ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians called themselves by including the word "KaMtou", meaning "Black" as they were. They also used the word "Kami" and / or "Kemet", meaning "Black" to refer to their land and the rest of the continent.
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    Apr 18 2013: Second Part

    However, Chapter 10 of the Book of Genesis, citing the three continents known in antiquity, tells us that the old name of our continent was KaM, diminutive of Kama.

    In fact, Kama KaM in Aramaic or Hebrew, means heat, burned, blackened ..., characteristic of our continent, because according to Herodotus, the heat makes the Men Black (History II, 22).

    The word KaM also on a Canaanite inscription dated to the 10th century BC. J. C, and mean our continent (Stele of Paraiba, Brazil).

    But is the word Kama native to our continent?

    Yes, because since the appearance of hieroglyphic writing (3400 BC. J. C), the ancient Egyptians called themselves by the word KaMtou meaning blacks because they were. Moreover, they used the word Kami meaning Black, not only to describe their land, but also our continent.

    This root inherited from our ancestors is found in the following languages:

    - Kama meaning Black in Coptic,

    - Ikama meaning Blackened in Mboshi,

    - Kami Meaning Burned in Bambara, Kemi meaning Burned in Mandjakou,

    - Kem meaning Burned in Wolof,

    - Kim meaning Burned in Mossi

    - KeMpou meaning Black in Vai

    - KéMatou meaning Completely Burned in Mandjakou is closer to the Egyptian KaMtou.

    The Egyptian word Kama graphically represented by a piece of burning wood (one carbon) derived from radical Kala also meaning coal in some of our languages, like the Kikongo, the Teke, the Zigoula of Mbati, etc ...

    To reconnect with our broken land of origin and our forebears, it is vital for us that we dedicate by our real name ie son or daughter Kala, of GaLa or possibly Kamites, from Kama .
    NB: (We are Kamites descendants of Kama)
    So we just rename our continent KAMA


    ""NB I used google translate to translate the text from French to English and edited the apparent errors""
    The original text can be found on

    http://mpamburosededieu.skyrock.com/3132422164-Continent-KAMA-aujourd-hui-AFRICA.html
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      Apr 20 2013: Hey Maxime,
      Thanks again for the information and the link. Your willingness to share is highly appreciated. I will read more about our origin now that you have put that seed in me.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 18 2013: My best friend's home country is Ghana. The first thing I think of is her, and her roots.
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      Apr 20 2013: Hey Lizanne,
      Thanks for sharing. Make sure you visit Ghana and witness the beauty.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 18 2013: Look forward to hearing from you. I'd like to introduce you sometime to three of my colleagues as well;
    Karen and her father come from Zimbabwe, and her husband, Derek, is - like me - from England but
    spent many years in South Africa. He is a friend of Bishop Desmond Tutu and is very 'Afro-friendly".

    I think that your mission to spread peace and harmony is much in line of coaxing people, especially seniors,
    to talk to each other about things that matter. Derek has a current LinkedIn account which I 'll give you details of sometime - that will give you an opportunity to check our bona fides. Charles.
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      Apr 20 2013: Hey Charles,
      I am grateful for your willingness to connect me with your colleagues. I am looking forward to that.
      That so much for contributing.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 18 2013: Kilimanjaro, probably because I like the outdoors and adventure.
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      Apr 18 2013: Hi Lynette.
      I totally identify with you. Nature is so fulfilling and adventure is part of the game. Kilimanjaro is amazing and I would suggest you should visit Tanzania and witness for yourself....
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 18 2013: The savannah. Herds of antelope and grasslands
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      Apr 18 2013: Hi Jane,
      Thanks for sharing and I would encourage you to make a trip to Africa. It will be one of the best decision you make.....witnessing wildlife migration and beautiful scenery and land is just great...
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 17 2013: Unfortunatelly, I'll have to say it's the poverty and skinny black people. These images are massively used in propaganda and just stick to our brains. But, Africa is a very diverse place. I don't think that you can have only one image of the entire continent. For example, I live in Brazil, which is just one country, and still, you can't have only one image to illustrate the whole nation. :)
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      Apr 20 2013: Hey Jade,
      Thanks for sharing your thought and your view. I agree that images are used MASSIVELY in propaganda...I hope Africans will utilize their massive resources and solve their own challenges....I also agree that Africa is a big continent and it hard to have only an image.
  • Apr 17 2013: i feel the pain of colonisation, neocolonialism, the war propagated by the west, the exploitations by the western companies, their insatiable quest to make profit at the expense of human lives... i think of companiew in Zambia copperbelt, the titanium mining in Kenya and all the derelict they leave behind in the name of helping countries! When Africa is mentioned i think of what the other guys think because i know it is a fair place to be were it not for the mind gamew these guys in control engage us in!
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      Apr 18 2013: Hi Lewis,
      Thanks for sharing your thought....Africa is a great place to be...Africans has been resilient despite challenges that we have faced. It is sad however to know some African problems are mainly caused by individual selfish interest. Hope all will be.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 17 2013: I first think of the wildlife there because I love animal and the nature. I hope one day I will have a chance to be in the wild!
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      Apr 18 2013: Hi Li Yi,
      Thanks for sharing your thought. You are just on point..nature and animals are soo amazing and have this magical touch that add more meaning to our lives....Just been in the wild add life to me.....
      Keep on hoping and make it a definite thing you want to do and surely "where there is will there is a path" your dream will come true and one day....you will say..."Africa hear I come"
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 17 2013: Mary:
    You obviously have a talent for getting people's attention! The group of seniors I mentioned, "Seniors On Net", has the mission of encouraging seniors to forget their age and aches, and use their experience to raise, and discuss, matters of importance to the world. This is a small movement at present but growing - we have links in NY, California, Florida and N.Carolina. We use Skype for weekly discussions, and Africa and its potential is one of our favorite topics. We love the TED Talks concept. If you use Skype, and would like to hear more, send me a contact request at skyport99. Charles
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      Apr 18 2013: Hi Charles,
      Thanks for vote of confidence. I will send an invite and connect to learn more.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 17 2013: "poverty, desert..children playing with smiles"....i hope I am blessed to go there one day!
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      Apr 18 2013: Hi Luke,
      Thanks for sharing your thought....I join hands in your hope and trust your way to Africa....You will be glad you visited.....and I hope as Africans, we will use our resources to combat poverty and hunger and create a great environment for children to play with even bigger smiles.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 17 2013: Hi, Mary, I also have a friend who loves Ethiopian food - I'll check with her and get back with you to see when we could meet!
    Terry
  • Apr 17 2013: Hi ,

    Nelson mandela , wildlife or forest , diamonds and not the least the film INVICTUS
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      Apr 18 2013: Hi Sanket,
      Thanks for sharing your thought. Nelson Mandela is an iconic star...(I love his courage)....diamonds..and beautiful places to visit ( You should visit and maybe start with South Africa)...I never watched INIVICTUS..( I will check it out)
      Love, Mary
      • Apr 19 2013: I suggest you to see that film (INVICTUS ) , its about how Mendela built the nation south aftrica ,how he transformed south africa . Thanks for your response .
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          Apr 20 2013: Hey Sanket,
          Thanks again and surely I will watch INVICTUS and witness how this great man did it.
          Love, Mary
  • Apr 17 2013: He is going to school right now. I have every confidence he will continue to be successful and happy. Through him I have learned much about Ethiopian and its proud ancient culture. I would assume he's planning on settling here -- his American born daughter is almost five years old now ;-)
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      Apr 18 2013: Hi Maureen,
      Thanks for replying again. Kudos to your brother and I wish you and his family well. Ethiopian are beautiful nice people....I like their "injera and meat"
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 16 2013: I can't help but think Beautiful & Wild .... a simpler life ... but not without tragedy ... such as HIV and Poverty.


    i once saw a picture of a dying boy holding his dead brother in his arms in Africa (both under age of 6).... brings me to tears just thinking of it.... my heart aches for those i cannot help !
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      Apr 18 2013: Hey Sherri,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It is heartbreaking to watch some of pictures. I am so much looking it days to come when everyone in the world will have basic needs. And yes Africa is beautiful and the wildlife are just amazing.....
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 16 2013: thanks and if you ever want to visit Washington state look me up
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      Apr 17 2013: Hey Russell,
      Thanks once more for the reply. I am grateful for the nice welcome to Washington...at least now I know someone there. If I ever visit there..I will definitely look for you. I won't mind visiting the great state with most amazing weather...it is sunny one minute next minute it is raining....( I think it is computer generated weather: Microsoft...lol)
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 16 2013: Gorilla's endangered.
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      Apr 17 2013: Hey Esta
      Thanks for sharing your thought.
      I am not aware that Gorilla are endangered...I am aware of animals such as elephant because of ivory and rhinos...
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 15 2013: Poverty
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      Apr 17 2013: Thanks Luciana for sharing your thoughts.
      I agree that poverty is one problem that Africans need to address...living in one of the most endowed continent it does not add up why Africans are sooooo deprived......Wake up call
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 15 2013: With utmost regret, a laboratory, where pharmaceutical companies use human beings as experimental animals.
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      Apr 17 2013: Hey Kiran,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Sincerely I did not know that this is going on in Africa...if it true..then it is a sad thing.
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 15 2013: when someone mentions Africa the first thing that comes tom my mind is the struggle against apartheid led by Nelson Mandela in SA
    the other things that come to my mind is the vast savannah grasslands with its beautiful wildlife and the problems in the region of the Magrib (North African countries)
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      Apr 17 2013: Hi Dominic
      Thanks for sharing...I totally agree the apartheid and Nelson Mandela is an iconic story that many resonate with. I am proud of him.
      You are so right about the beautiful wildlife and the need to combat Africa problems...
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 15 2013: Fastest growing economies.
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      Apr 17 2013: Hey Gino,
      You comment so far is one of the most encouraging one....African countries are seeing the light of development.
      Thanks for sharing.
      Love,Mary
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    Apr 15 2013: An Elephant walking on a semi-arid plain with mountains in background. This image came to mind even before I finished reading your question.
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      Apr 17 2013: Hey Gabriele,
      Thanks for sharing. I love the way the image came even before your finished reading the question. I bet you are due for a safari and surely the elephants won't disappoint you.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 14 2013: ... my very competent cousin by marriage from Ethiopia who is unable to get a job in his field here in the US because his degree is not valued, and the way he and his family enrich my life.
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      Apr 17 2013: Hey Maureen,
      Thanks for sharing your thought.
      I know how frustrating it is for numerous foreigners who can't transfer their renowned skills into US market. It is a price I think most foreigners has to pay for migrating to No.1 continent.
      However, America with all it shortcoming has an efficient education system compared to most continents. Through determination and effort one can go back to school while working at an age and gain the skill set needed. Encourage your cousin to look at the brighter side if he really want to live and settle here.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 14 2013: Human origins, Egyptian brilliance, tribal richness AND conflicts, Masai beauty and the richest continent on Earth. My ignorance is actually pitiful; yet the future opporunity for African peoples to develop and growlooks to be truly astounding. My prayers and hopes are focused on our World leaders being MORE inviting and accepting to the myriad of cultures and rich resources the many nation states of Africa are bringing to our WTO, United Nations, et al tables !!! :):):)

    I am sadly frustrated when I see news videos of impoverished people wearing 2nd hand western clothing. The Salvation Army's 2,000 pound bales of donated clothing is INSULTING and demeaning. Our own poor people can wear with some dignity, but to send our old clothing abroad is INSANE, and an awful mistake. These folks should be able to make their own clothing in whatever local style and culture inspires. This complex situation demands creative and respectful social services that LIFT UP people from poverty: "fish hooks, but no fish". These kinds of tough love social services can be very, very successful when programs are skillfully created and performed.

    Moe than your question was asking for: I now get OFF my soapbox and pass onto next participant :):):)
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      Apr 17 2013: Hey Paul,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and views. :) I love your knowledge of Africa as the richest continent. However African are poor and as we blame the western world, Africans mentality is to blame too. Africans need to know they have the power to revitalize their own economies, make their own product and above all be innovative. It is only then the international community can step in and help Africans to move to the direction of development. As for now, most Africans think it is ok to be dependent on foreigners and their own government. I look forward to a better future and a great continent. Yes I like the "fish hooks, but no fish" It reflect the aids Africans receive.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 14 2013: The final scene of 'Belly' when Nas is talking about ..Africa! We made it! I never thought the sky could be so blue...
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      Apr 17 2013: Hey Seth,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I agree with sky been so blue...though I never watched "Belly"
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 14 2013: I'm 20 years old and from South Carolina. Ive been up and down the east coast of NA and also to Ecuador and the Galapagos islands. Other then that im studying to get my B.S. in marine biology. Thought it would be helpful to see some of my background to understand where im coming from. The first images that come to mind when thinking of Africa is all the great coast line that countless people have been able to live of off since prehistory. Second is the combination of jungle and desert that make up the very diverse living area for most of the animals (including humans) of the land. These great features of this large and special land have helped to shape the evolution of animals and the geographic distribution of people since life began. It breaks my heart to see what people have put on here. I hope that in 50 years more people will start to see Africa as the great biological melting pot it is instead of having people speak of the poor, HIV +, Malaria infected people that dance in the dirt. Even coming from the south where racism dies hard and in moments of weakness I can feel the blood of racist in me passed down from my previous generations these were not the pictures I wanted to hear about people having. The natural resources such as the environment, animals, and people are the true diamonds in the rough of Africa. Not some carbon based item (Diamonds or Oil) that comes out of the dirt. The disses, malnutrition, desertation, poaching, pollution, and greed are the true dirt and rock that must be removed for this beautiful diamond to shine so bright everyone will have to have the same picture I've been blessed with being able to envision.
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      Apr 17 2013: Hey Soanhilton,
      Thanks for sharing your background and thoughts....best wishes in your B.S...(Marine Biology) sound like a great study. I concur and hope with you that the face of Africa should change. There is so much greatness going on for Africa however, the negatives has dominated and even great organization and individual take advantages of this ill to advance their selfish dreams....I just love your positive thought and hope you have for Africa.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 13 2013: Nelson Mandela. Naturlich.
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      Apr 17 2013: Hey Jodie,
      Wooah the great man....thanks for sharing
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 13 2013: Hello Mary! Seat down, relax and watch it all to get what I mean by School of Samba in Brazil at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_qVP4DhQuo .

    This one was the winner of 2013 Carnival Parade.
    You'll have to wait a while for the parade to really start parading. Be patient! Ok?

    *** I'll be also looking forward to having you around my place or places, actually. We can make some short trips to beautiful cities such as Ouro Preto, for example. Take care! Love, Gerdson
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      Apr 17 2013: Hey Gerdson,
      Thanks for the link...I will watch and get back to you soonest...:)
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 13 2013: Blood diamonds, HIV, malaria, malnutrition and environment exploitation. Then the typical National Geographic vision - lions and/or Africans dancing half naked.
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      Apr 17 2013: Hey Adrian,
      I think you meant "Black Diamonds"...and coupled with challenges such as disease and poverty.....and for environment exploitation I would say Africa is the top continent that has biggest untapped natural landmass however poor sanitation and chemical use and poor sewer can be said to contribute to environment degradation. Coupled with all these ills is the fantastic wildlife and beautiful scenery and people that are worthy a visit....
      Thanks for sharing.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 13 2013: War Famine and AIDS. U.N. Peace Camps and Witch Doctors. Sadly a seemingly hopeless continent. South America is increasingly becoming an established democratic- capitalist region and Asia too (even China). The middle east has potential if they go through their whole cultural and political revolution thing. But Africa is like.. WOW how do you even begin to find a solution to the problems of much of the continent. I will say though it does have a sacred quality to it and it is ultimately Everyones Motherland.
    • Apr 13 2013: War, first and foremost.

      And how many out there know that today April 13, 2013 the US is involved in 3+ Wars
      i.e. Armed Conflicts in central Africa, and building multiple Drone bases there.

      These conflicts do not include the US's continuing participation in conflicts inside
      those nation's bordering the Mediterranean sea.

      The US government refuses to stop making War. Always another, always.
      ===
      I must apologize for my continual negative writing. I despise it myself.
      But, unless some of us are willing to scream about injustice. It will never stop.
      And it must stop. It must.
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        Apr 17 2013: Hey Frank
        Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
        I truly agree that it is humans who create challenges and problems for others....Injustice and war are man made and only man can solve this problem. I just watched "Bill Maher" and I liked the part where he said....America time to become Nation of Peace is NOW.....(Peace should be counted as a strength not a weakness....
        Love, Mary
        • Apr 17 2013: Mary, thank you.
          I never have liked watching "Bill Maher".
          Always though of him as a fool.
          But, perhaps I am wrong.
          I deeply hope so.

          We voters and others need change this system
          that depends upon War, War, and more War.

          The rest of the world is tired of the United States.

          They, our victims, seek revenge, and we will have to pay
          in those maimed and killed on this, our home ground.

          Flags are at half mast today for Boston's victims.
          Men, women, and wee children.

          I fear this is only a beginning.
          ===
          We hear of North Korea's threats, and Washington DC's
          response of "don't worry the missiles probably will miss".

          Assuming that North Korea will use missiles instead of
          just sending long range bombers with cruise missiles
          to hit Guam, Hawaii, and our California coast. I live a
          couple of blocks from the Pacific. Ouch !!!

          Maybe Secty Kerry better get to doing his job.
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        Apr 18 2013: Hey Frank,
        Bill maher comment I laughed...:). The great thing about information is that even the so called fools sometime have something meaningful to pass along.
        The way the world is moving is definitely the wrong direction. War...war and more war is just illustration of how us as beings have evolved to become...We have become lovers of war and unless we unite and make a uturn to the road of peace...then everybody feels and will continue to feel the devastating effects of war. I especially hate the psychological and emotional torture we have to go through while hoping we won't be the victims.....
        I however believe that step by step, individual by individual we can unite and make the necessary change...
        Love, Mary
        • Apr 19 2013: Mary, you seem to be optimistic of making changes that work.
          I wish I felt the same. Problem is, we have a media controlled
          by money, advertising dollars.

          As long as the Republicans and Democrats can pay the media
          to keep their faces in front of the public from the day after an
          election all the way to the election day, no other face, no other
          idea, will be accepted by voters.

          We the people of America are told daily by the media, what a
          great nation we all have, and enjoy.

          This is not a lie. But we never have an elected official state the
          truth about why we do War. Every elected official jumps on the
          bandwagon of national security. The military's enormous budget
          keeps buying more guns and ammo, to kill and maim humans,
          men, women, and wee children, until we can kill no more.

          Like the Vikings and Romans, our soldiers, the UN soldiers, NATO's
          soldiers, and all our government's friendly nations. War is a habit,
          and hard to break. No one wants to lose their highly paid job.
          No one wants to upset the apple cart. No one want to shoulder
          the blame.
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        Apr 20 2013: Hey Frank,
        I identify with how you feel. Most of us don't want to take responsibility. However change is constant and will are either moving to betterment or "agony".
        Just hoping there are many optimistic people out there to outnumber the direction we are currently headed.
        Love, Mary
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      Apr 17 2013: Hey Keith,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and views. Yes Africa has it own challenges it need to address, but this does not make it a hopeless continent. There is much hope and growth going on in most countries. Though ti might seem to lag behind other continents depending on what media focuses on, Africa has enough resources to resolve it own problems...if only African can embrace this fact and maybe the rest of the world support this endeavor.
      About witchcraft I would relate that to vampires....lol
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 13 2013: The Serengeti.
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      Apr 17 2013: Hey Mary,
      Thanks for sharing about this great scenery......
      Part of Serengeti in Kenya is referred to as Masai Mara

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 12 2013: I think of colour, music, life and the Paul Simon Graceland concert in Zimbabwe 1987:)
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      Apr 17 2013: Hey Colm
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts....I like your thoughts and will check out Paul Simon....You should visit some of African countries to witness the music and great life....
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 12 2013: When I read your question, the first thing that popped into my mind was a mango. Delicious, ridiculously ripe and perfect mangoes. Then music, then the moon, then yassa poulet (food again!). Then rampant sexism. Then images of stunningly beautiful people, especially women, with these amazingly regal postures and ways of walking. Next I think of this horrible article I read about parents fleeing Sudan and having to leave their child to die in the desert, in order to save the healthier child and hope they made it across the desert and across the border.

    I think of all the cool people I met in Dakar and St Louis. Next, dusty and tired and man, it is way too hot and humid and look at those cockroaches. Finally, a disabled local man in a market square primarily trafficked by tourists, yelling at us for being white. Last, I think of bells ringing out for evening prayer at the mosque.
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      Apr 17 2013: Hi Tiffany,
      Thanks for sharing your experience in Dakar. Africa is a great place with beautiful people with some grueling challenges that needs to be addressed.
      After the experience can you go back to African countries?
      Thanks
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 12 2013: wild animals black people poverty
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      Apr 16 2013: Hey Chen.
      Yes diverse amazing wild animals that call for a safari...(hint hint....). And yes majority of Africans are black and there is need to use the available resources to combat poverty...
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 12 2013: safari
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      Apr 16 2013: Hi Calire,
      Definitely you should go for a safari...
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 12 2013: What do people think about Rwanda banning plastic bags?
    • Apr 12 2013: Can't think of a reason why it should not be done worldwide.
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      Apr 16 2013: Hey David, Thanks for sharing once more...I think it should be done worldwide as Lee has stated.
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 12 2013: Lions
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      Apr 16 2013: Hey Cecilia,
      Yes the King of Jungle...visit and witness...
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 12 2013: Difficult question, Mary. Northern Africa? Massive deserts, some large cities and cars . . . . . Western Africa, small villages, Africa is soooo huge it's hard to have one image of Africa. I think what most people imagine is either Congo (jungles, which is actually a smaller portion of Africa) or landscapes like those in South Africa or Botswana. I get a myriad of images. I'm in the Baltimore area, BTW, just south of the city.
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      Apr 16 2013: Hey Terry
      I agree with you...Africa is so big and with diverse regions and different countries. Thanks for sharing your thought and you are on point....I am in Baltimore County (Rosedale)....I am not soo good with map and direction..which part is the south of the city?
      Love< Mary
      • Apr 16 2013: Mary, if someone asked me that question I'd have to ask what part of Africa they had in mind.

        I'm in Pasadena, in Anne Arundel County, about halfway between Baltimore and Annapolis (actually a tad closer to Annapolis).

        Thanks for a great question! a thought-provoking one.

        Blessings
        Terry
      • Apr 16 2013: I also want to mention, Mary, that there is a restaurant in Baltimore that is offering Ethiopian/African cuisine. Eden's Lounge - haven't tried it yet but will soon and will let you know.
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          Apr 17 2013: Hey Terry,
          I have been to Annapolis and Anne Arundel mall....
          Thanks again for replying....I will be more than willing to meet with you for some Ethiopian food. I have tried "Injera and meat"....it is great

          NB/ I totally agree with you that Africa is big and so diverse with some regions having particular similiarities.
          Love, Mary
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    Apr 12 2013: Hi Mary

    Well i have been there my whole life and recently came to America. But am spreading the Peace message via Facebook to my peeps back at home.
    Are you on Facebook btw?
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      Apr 16 2013: Hi Dennis,
      Welcome to America and continue spreading the great news...I am on linkedin (Most active) Mary Kariuki (Mafra)
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 11 2013: Safari's, hot dry weather, Tarzan-tribes, naked black people dancing, starving dehydrated children. I know that is not what Africa is really like, just as USA is not what it is portrayed as, depending on whom you speak to, however, that is what first comes to my mind.
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      Apr 16 2013: Hi Tina,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I just love your enlightenment that whatever is portrayed by the media is not necessarily true...There is more positives than negatives in Africa....You should chose a country and go explore and witness for yourself....
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 11 2013: Like I said thts the first thing that come to my mind, and I think if a lot of other posters were honest that would be the case for them as well or some other equally pop media image. I was with the crowds that marched to boycott companies doing buisness with south africa before the fall of apartied, I have an awareness of the extent of the damage that aids has/is/will do their I know africa is a continent and not a country which is more sadly than many people from the usa do. I know that the kingdom of etheopia was a n advanced christian kingdom when found by the europeans who rounded the cape, I know that the human race began there and that its a place where the people and cultures can be welcoming harmonious and proud but that like other places that pride can become perverted into hate and war. I would like to visit alot oftheworld someday and yes Africa ia high on my list maybe we can establish a ted community hostel system where people from other parts of the world can crash for a few days at a membershouse and that way cut the cost of travel.
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      Apr 16 2013: Thanks Russell for sharing your in depth thought....It is great to read your insight in relation to South Africa apartheid. Thanks for confirming and educating one or 2 people that Africa is a continent..... And the Ethiopia fact ( I am new to the fact that human life began in Africa...I will be reading that very soon)
      Oh my God, I just love your idea of establishing COMMUNITY HOSTEL SYSTEM...it is just brilliant.. pitch the idea I and so many other will definitely support it..You are so welcome to visit Africa....
      African need to be innovative and responsible for their own well being...aid/funding never made any one rich...
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 11 2013: i have the whole thing in my mind countries rivers and capitals its beautiful.
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      Apr 16 2013: Hi Justin,
      Thanks for sharing your thought....
      I totally agree....Africa comprise of beautiful amazing countries....

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 11 2013: A continent of poverty but with lots of resources
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      Apr 16 2013: Hey Sen,
      Thanks for sharing...it is a contrast to have so many resources and yet be poor...I would say that Africa as a continent is NOT poor...The Africans are poor in mental...way of doing things and such.....If only we as African can change, the continent will become remarkable
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 11 2013: I loved this song, and as a bass player, I enjoy this kind of bass line. Thanks a lot for the link!!! Gerdson
  • Apr 11 2013: Mary: you pose a most interesting question. A group of us (seniors just outside Baltimore) were discussing that very question on Skype this evening. Our conclusion was that we have more to learn from Africa than we can teach, if we get our priorities right.
    This video shows a community of muslims, jews and christians living and working in harmony and peace in Uganda:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifQ4VaM6wcs

    Regards, Charles
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      Apr 16 2013: Hi Charles
      What an inspiration...I watched the clip and I was moved by "Peace can start with simple people, from the ground it will grow".....It such a great wisdom that we can live and coexist harmoniously while developing and improving our economic and social conditions.
      Thanks so much for such an inspiration. I would like to learn more about your discussion.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 11 2013: A lot of natural resources, the amazon rainforest, diamonds, guns, dictatorship, slavery, jungle safaris
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      Apr 16 2013: Hey Arun,
      Yes definitely al ot of natural resources and untapped potential......"shine like a diamond"....beautiful scenery such as rainforest and safaris.....Need to confront and resolve our challenges while leveraging our resources...
      Hope you visit one day for safaris...
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 11 2013: yes, I had a friend from Kenya, he is very kind, I will go visiting there one day.singing and dancing with various animals maybe haha
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      Apr 16 2013: Habari Amily (Hay Amily)
      ******Teaching your salutation in Kiswahili to prepare you for the visit

      You are so welcome to visit and enjoy Kenya.....and I bet you will be glad you did it.....
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 10 2013: Yesterday my teacher in anthropology class said that because people at the IMF and UN are political they emphasize high cost visible solutions. As Westerners they emphasize free market values and rules placed on loans such as where to buy with said loans. The result a landscape littered with complex broken down machinery and equipment. Say a guy comes along with a very affordable bicycle powered irrigation system they reject it, instead they sell tractors the people don't have processed gasoline or parts when it breaks down, bicycle easy to repair, tractor complex.
    Simultaneously you have to say what is Cadbury doing what about DeBeers, Firestone. The companies that owned countries through commodities, forced capital taxes, and are still buying the commodities. The landscapes changed now I think Russia flooded the diamond market somehow, free trade coffee movement sprang up, I hear Firestone gave a more favorable contract to Liberia when Obama was elected.
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      Apr 16 2013: Hi David,
      Thanks for the update from your anthropology class. There is a complex system and action that Africa and it allies undertake that does not benefit African people. There is a need for technology that is situated for African environment and also products made using local products. African are the only ones who can solve their own issues through help of outside world...it should not be the other way round....African have somewhat left their birthright to international organization to decide what is best for them...
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 10 2013: I'll dig up the record. I was an anthropoloty student and used to collect music from different places in the world.
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      Apr 13 2013: Hey Michael.
      Thanks for replying once again.
      Oh my god that was a great pursuit...I did sociology and a few classes of anthropology (It was hard on me though interesting learning about different culture...artifacts and such)....Dig it up and enjoy the music....share if you can...lol
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 10 2013: Hi Mary! When you say "Brazilian dance", you're probably referring to the Carnival Paredes performed by what we call "Schools of Samba", right? So that's what I meant by pointing out African and Brazilian culture similarities. I think Brazilian Carnival is quite African-spirited in all aspects. **** So, don't give up planning your visit to Brazil. I'll be happy to have you around us, and have the chance to show you my hometown and its surroundings. Till soon (as possible). Take care!!! Gerdson
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      Apr 13 2013: Hey Gerdson,

      Yes I meant the Carnival Paredes. During international school festival, Brazilian students would perform and showcase their culture...It was by far the best (according to me).....And yes, so much from the African traditions like the feathers, drums, paint on the body..not forgetting beautiful smiles and confident posture.....I am looking forward to seeing your hometown and its surrounding.....(meet soon)....Thanks once more....
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 10 2013: I think of African people
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      Apr 13 2013: Hi Dia n Christy,
      Thanks for sharing your thought.....How do you see the African people? Did you see the African King and Queen?...lol

      Love, Mary
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    Apr 10 2013: Hi Mary,

    Honestly i like Addis Ababa ,Ethiopia more than Dubai,UAE,Where i am currently working .For your surprise they have hail stone dropping during season.Check about the place in Africa a,everything depends upon,i the that , if it is Addis Ababa , I guaranty you will enjoy your life .Serenity in all thing during social interaction ,i assure that.

    Gob Bless You.

    Edward Benzigar
    Skype ID:edwardbenzigar
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      Apr 13 2013: Hey Edward,
      Hahaha I know about hailstone ( We used to use cup and collect them and eat as icecream)... As for UAE passed through qatar airport once ( it was hot and humid)...not my cup of tea. And from many friends who have worked and done business in/with UAE...it quiet different from African feel and culture....I am originally from Kenya and my biased opinion is that Africa has an open platform for social interaction compared for instance to UAE and USA. Africans welcome people with open hands...I think because of sense of community belonging.....
      Catch up on skype laterz....
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 10 2013: After I have posted this comment, I did read through the other comments under the same posts which includes your responses to theirs. I appreciate your sharings, yea, for instance the idea of safari, great culture. In Malaysia, I was rarely exposed to understanding and experiencing different cultures, which I am currenly interested in after getting into university away in Hong Kong. I think I understand what you feel when reading the perspective of mine, as Malaysia is also being catogorized under developing countries whereby volunteers are sent to help those in need, though my home town as in the city I live in are consist of upper middle class of families.
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      Apr 13 2013: Hi Ng Yee,
      It is amazing to read other diverse thoughts. I am also learning a lot and appreciating humanity more. I have learnt that people are mainly interested in knowing about each other if the platform is there; "Curiosity about life".
      I hope you are enjoying your stay in Hong Kong...I once worked with Chinese and there are great people...My boss and coworkers were wonderful and caring...:).....I had a Uncle who went to school in Malaysia though in 90's...he would come and narrate story about the different food and language. I truly connect with your view and I am thrilled to read what people think about Africa and the willingness of people to share their thoughts. Continue learning and travel as much to gain better perspective and enrich life moments...
      Love, Mary..
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    Apr 10 2013: Absolutely! I left some marvelous infrastructure in place and i was also confused at first but as you said, peace is most important.

    love, Dennis
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      Apr 11 2013: Hey Dennis,
      Were you out of Kenya for a long time?
      Enjoy your return to motherland and contribute positively...
      Peace and Blessing....
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 10 2013: I think of the negatives like the abundance of poverty and its effects on the people of the land, naturally, but my mind gets consumed by the beauty in what it would be like. But my first thought is always Beautiful dark skin that is appreciated and the story behind melanin.
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      Apr 11 2013: Hey Aurie,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and surely black is beauty and the story behind each creation is amazing......yeah the story behind our skin colors (melanin) is an interesting one.....
      And thanks for sharing both side of the same coin. Yes Africa has it challenges it need to face and solve such as poverty, war, and such....however it has needed resources and just need to steer to the right direction.
      Hope you visit Africa one day and enjoy the beauty.......start with Kenya:)
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 10 2013: Lions. I would be interested in doing some conservation work there.
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      Apr 11 2013: Hey Lee,

      Thanks for sharing and publicly declaring your interest of conservation work.
      You are so welcome to many African countries that are home of King of the Jungle.....
      Make your interest come true....Are your looking for opportunities or it is work in progress?
      Thanks

      Love, Mary
      • Apr 11 2013: Hi Mary,

        I've just finished some conservation work for the RSPB in the UK and am now in the process of moving my business from home into an office and I'm currently in the process of selling my home in order to release some capital and free myself from debt burdens.

        I have had a little look online for some conservation opportunities in Africa, but many seem to be quite expensive and I will not be able to travel until after the sale of my house completes (2-3 months)

        If you have any pointers for me that would be great.

        Peace and love

        Lee
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    Apr 9 2013: If I was to go solely by what my impressions would be if dictated by the media: War, poverty, illness, mud-huts.

    If I was to go solely by my personal exploration, knowledge through aid workers and friends (i.e/ What really comes to mind) :
    Friendly people, short hair, singing, societal disparity through political issues.

    I mentioned both because I do see why most people immediately think what they do when they hear 'Africa'.
    We have a media that both
    1. Focuses on the negatives for the sake of profits
    2. Has persistent commercials that ask for aid
    This makes Africas problems (Sub-saharan Africa, I should be saying) a statistical nightmare for its plight to be seen disporportionately.
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      Apr 11 2013: Hi Xavier,
      You are so right about the media. The impression I am getting is that the media has successful painted a picture of "dark continent" painted with war, poverty, illness, and many other challenges. ( I bet it is time for a different media to paint a different picture...lol)
      I love your interest in learning about Africa through aid workers and friends...and truly the information you have gathered is on point.....I would generally point that African are friendly...singing and dancing is part of life, short hair for the majority and yes societal disparity through political issues and cultural intolerance.....
      NB/You have surely put the media into it right place.....and surely the message that is been spread has negatively directly and indirectly affected Africa....for instance, If the rest of the world knew that I had to cross ridges and valleys to see mud-huts, then they would recognize there is more to Africa than poverty and neediness. (Even to me as an African, seeing mud-hut is a safari/tour I have to make)
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 9 2013: Black kids. Poverty. Hunger. Illness. Culture. Happiness.
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      Apr 11 2013: Hey Paloma,
      Thanks for sharing....and definitely black kids are the majority in Africa (In terms of color), I love the thought of happiness because Africans are truly resilient and happy amidst challenges of poverty, hunger and illness. There is also cultural diversity which is intriguing and interesting......It is so fascinating to have a country like Kenya with more than 50 different cultural backgrounds...different food, language, cloths and simply way of living.....the diversity makes life more interesting....
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 9 2013: black man.poverty.war.desert.a variety of animals...
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      Apr 11 2013: Hey Nick,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
      Definitely Africa is a continent mostly populated by black man not forgetting African queens...lol....and yes you are right about poverty, war, desert and wildlife. On the other side of the coin, Africa is fulfilled with goodness and greatness that majority of those who have never been there don't know. I would recommend that you visit and even learn more about any African country of your interest.....( You can never been dissappointed watching the animals in their natural habitats and also beautiful sceneries)
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 9 2013: you know it's a whole continent? Right now how China will rebuild the economies of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa to a degree, Liberia may collapse if the UN pull out this year. Long pig. Kenya you got a boom in mobile apps applicable to Kenya but if they get food production up. Also when I think Africa I think informal settlements open sewers. A lot a takes on the Aids epidemic.
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      Apr 11 2013: Hey David,
      Thanks for sharing and asking me the question. I truly know Africa is a continent because I am a product of one of the African countries (Kenya). And you are right about China...there are massive debates going on in reference to China and African countries. Just yesterday, I was researching about people view on China and Africa and came across (http://edition.cnn.com/2013/02/28/business/dambisa-moyo-africa) the article generated over 200 comments...some comments were educative and thought provoking.....
      Second, You are so right on Kenya take on mobile apps.....there is hope for Africa continent finally...
      Third, Most regions in Africa has a lot of challenges to deal with namely infrastructures and disease and such. However, the good thing is that Africa has more potential and resources to tackle her challenges if we just get our act together....
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 8 2013: Sun, heat, the Lion King. Hungry but happy people. I don´t know. I´ve never been there.
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      Apr 11 2013: Hi Jose Maria

      Thanks for sharing...and the whole idea of sharing was to see what you know when you have never been there. I can see that you are on point. Africa as a continent is relatively known to be sunny year round.....not forgetting the King of the Jungle....and yes people in Africa are generally happy and I hope we as humanity will work towards ending human hunger. We have enough resources, it is a matter of utilization and resourcefulness that matters...
      NB/ Visit and witness the goodness of mother Africa...
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 8 2013: Black people,

    then:
    - lush tropics
    - sahara desert and muslim countries above it
    - Congo and Bonobo's
    - very large continent with a lot of cultural diversity
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      Apr 11 2013: Hey Christophe
      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts about Afica.
      You are on point and your thoughts prompted me to "google" Bonobos and the results were:
      1. Online apparel shop
      2. chimpanzee
      I bet you meant the Chimpanzee...and I also read about an organization that is conserving them (http://www.bonobo.org/).....You are truly educating me about countries in Africa.
      NB/ You should pay a visit and maybe start with visiting Congo to see the Bonobos...

      Love, Mary
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        Apr 15 2013: Ah, of all countries Congo? hmm... maybe the fact that my home country (Belgium) was the one colonizing it, might be inconvenient... (real black page in our History, if you ever want to know about the massacre king Leopold the Second did over there... It did make Belgium quite rich though)

        But ok, these kinds of specifics don't pop up in my mind when I hear "Africa"
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          Apr 17 2013: Hi Christophe,
          Interesting...I am learning so much in this conversation. Do you have a particular country you would like to visit?
          Thanks.
          Love, Mary
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    Apr 8 2013: Originally I was going to simply comment with 'wildlife' - purely because I'm going to South Africa the beginning of next year and have a big safari booked and it is one of those places where some of the most beautifully fascinating animals in the world can be seen in their prime. Though after flicking through a few comments I realised how off key that answer sounds. Yet I think that at least shows the diversity within Africa. It is after all the second largest continent and so surely that is justification for a range of opinions. There are parts laced with poverty and disease, areas which are hugely over-populated, others more so open space, those full of tradition and values, others of discrimination and violence. This question (and the below comments) have really sparked some thought into the other parts of Africa I'd like to experience. Thanks
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      Apr 11 2013: Hi Becky,
      Thanks for been truthful and even taking time to share more....and your original thought of wildlife is on point......Lol.....yes the comments we have in this thread are varied and educative at the same time. The comments have made me realize that some people don't know the good side of Africa. It seem like everybody knows the bad side i.e poverty, war, discrimination and such. It is also a pleasure to read comments from people who are interested in exploring Africa and experiencing the truth for themselves. I am glad you are visiting South Africa and I bet the experience will be enlightening and to say the least life changing.."in a positive way".....
      Go experience and come back and share your experiences.....and the love.....also there are numerous interesting regions you can visit within the continent....research and decides on some other countries depending on your interest....for some big smiles and hugs....narrow down to Kenya...lol.....Enjoy your trip.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 8 2013: I think about beautiful landscapes and wild animals. It's definitely a country I would love to visit but I haven't had the time or the money to do it so, for now, it will have to wait a little bit longer. I'm still young! And not that far away...

    I know many people think about poverty, but I think that poverty exists in every corner of the world. It's really sad but it's true.

    We should think about the great things that all the countries have to offer because if we don't, then we wouldn't be that willing to visit other places and meet other cultures.

    Have you ever been to Africa?
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      Apr 11 2013: Hi Virginia,
      Thanks for sharing your thought.....
      And yes you are on point in regards to beautiful landscapes and numerous wild animals. Yes you have to identify a country within Africa continent and visit..my biased advice is to start with Kenya...(This is the beautiful country I was born and raised...it is in East Africa).....I bet this answers your question of whether I have been to Africa. ( Africa is my home...lol....welcome and enjoy my beautiful continent).
      I love you view about poverty and the way you have put it.....every region has it own challenges and concentrating on challenges never solve any problems...it is by concentrating on strengths and available resources that we overcome our challenges...So I agree with you that we should look and appreciate our greatness as Africans and as a humanity.

      Love, Mary
      • Apr 15 2013: Hi Mary,

        Well, your biased advice is great for me. No one to give you a better insight of a place but those who have lived there, with the goods and not-so-goods. :-) There must be very few places in this world untouched by problems and challenges.

        I was born in a "complicated" country and now I live in Spain, which is going through a difficult crisis so there's nothing else to do but make the most of the places where you live. :-)

        Nice meeting you, Mary!
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          Apr 17 2013: Hi Virginia,

          Nice to meet you Virginia and receive my firm digital hand shake + hug:)
          And yes, as humanity if we only can embrace our current moments and locations and make the best of them....I hope you are enjoying Spain.
          Glad my biased advice worked
          Love, Mary
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    Apr 8 2013: We are all Africans.
  • Apr 8 2013: Hello Mary! Yes, and Brazilians should also learn more about Africans to realize how African we are, and that's a lot more than just an influence, but the core and the best of Brazilian culture. For example, the so worldwide acclaimed Brazilian music such as samba, bossa nova, and their variations, were all built on African drums, not to mention many other rhythms played all around the country, specially in the state of Bahia on the Northeast. Of course, there are other sources of influences, but none of them can be compared to African's contribution in terms of culture and mood. Yes, I hope you'll really make plans to visit Brazil, but I wouldn't recommend you to do it during the soccer world cup period as everything will crowded, expensive and too focused on soccer matches. If I were you, I'd plan to come in other times so that you'd have the chance to get to know the country as it really is over normal day-by-day living. ***** My experience in USA and Canada was very very fortunate, a time of learning many things, including English, time to performing with musicians from all over the world, and many other great things I could spend a day remarking. "Listen" ... if you ever come to Brazil, please remember to let me know. I live in the city of Belo Horizonte, capital of the state of Minas Gerais, and I'd be very glad to meet you, and/or even host you at home. Ok? Don't forget it! Please take a break to feel my tight friendly hug! Take care! Gerdson
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      Apr 10 2013: Hey Gerdson,
      Thanks for the insights about the Africa and Brazil similiarities..I see the sense in visiting non soccer period (Thanks for the advice and head up).....I just love the way Brazilian dance to traditional music...all crowned with colorful outfit and head gears....the women are specially amazing.....I am glad you enjoyed USA and Canada....I would more than glad to listen to your experiences when we meet....."only mountains never meet". Thanks for willing to meet with me on my visit..I will definitely let you know once I plan....I am taking the friendly hug and preserving it to keep me warm.....thanks so much
      Love, Mary
    • Apr 11 2013: Gerdson:
      It's interesting to see that there is also a feedback from Brazil to Africa, with some of those complex rhythms
      modifying native African music. This link to a Ugandan band might be of interest to you:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sloqepu4K-c

      Charles
  • Apr 8 2013: The first thing come to my mind when I heard the word "Africa" is poverty, disease, famine.... Africa need help!
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      Apr 10 2013: Hi Xoi Xeo....
      Yes Africa need help.....Africa need to eradicate it poverty, disease, war and famine. It has the capabilities and potential if only Africans can know this.
      Also the global people can help Africans by supporting and focusing on their positives more than negatives....
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts....
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 8 2013: Usually its bush race, uncivilised people and world of wild animals ...thats what my European friend told me.
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      Apr 10 2013: Hey El Sol,
      This an exact comment I got from one of my schoolmate in the USA. She thought of Africans as uncivilized, and she was confused how comes some Africans who come to USA don't look uncivilized. It all depends on which part of region you visit. Mainly in every country within the continent, there are some tribes that are still conservative tightly holding to their culture...however I would guess Africa is becoming modernized using Kenya as an representation of other countries.....
      And yes, a lot of wild animals....
      Thanks for sharing...
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 8 2013: Shona music. I have some vinyl from the 70's.
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      Apr 10 2013: Wooah Michael,
      That so great....is it Zimbabwean music? And did you visit Africa and got the music?
      Thanks...
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 8 2013: misunderstood yet resilient.
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      Apr 10 2013: Hey Ann e,
      You are on point.....I feel that Africa is highly misunderstood...and to add your thoughts...resilient....
      (If I may ask is your name Anne...just a spacing error above or it is really ann e?).....

      Thanks for sharing,
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 7 2013: Tarzan. I know its totally lame but its the truth. I know about confliuct diamonds and drought aids and ethnic cleansing ebola the growing dessert and the exploitation of nations by oil companies or mining companies, but I can't help it I always see Tarzan first, then if I am lucky I see the African Queen, I guess I am media brainwashed.
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      Apr 10 2013: Hey Russell,
      Yes the media focuses on the negatives such as war, conflict, poverty and such. Yes these things exist but what majority don't know is that Africa is a continent filled with positives, great amazing things and people.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Tarzan.......I would say you just need to get more information about Africa from other sources beside media...and who knows you might be lucky to see the African Queen more often...lol..and make a trip to Africa..you will be amazed by great hospitality, loving and caring people.....
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 7 2013: Poverty, rampant government corruption, tribalistic animosity, disease, famine etc.. As an outsider, I view Africa with the same purview as many. However, I also view Africa as a place of unparalleled beauty and disparate cultures. Despite its faults, Africa is a place of vast, untapped natural resources and is undoubtedly poised for economic growth and development. If only they can overcome the stigmas of corruption and bureaucratic red tape--major, but not insurmountable barriers to foreign investment.
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      Apr 10 2013: Hey Altus.
      You have summed it all well. And yes we can reach the stars and the sun if we open our eyes and straighten our acts...
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 7 2013: Sorry to say the word "poverty" as i have worked in Ethiopia for an year as a Procurement Engineer.But Africa could be richer if its natural resources are used to enrich the country.!!!
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      Apr 10 2013: Hey Edward,
      I fully recognize that word and majority of conversation involving Africa rarely leave the term "poverty"....And yes Africa is well endowed if only we tap and utilize the resources fully.
      If I may ask....does poverty apply to all Ethiopian..or the region you were stationed?
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 7 2013: Hi Mary

    I suspect I am a victim of media manipulation. A constant barrage of pictures of displaced peoples, in desperate need, starving, sick....

    When I think about other sources of information I think about wildlife, virgin country, tribes, culture, variety...

    An altogether rosier picture. One day I will make it to Africa and I experience it first hand :-)
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      Apr 10 2013: Hi Andy,
      Yes, and you are not the only one. Majority of us rely on media for information, then we use the info to form stereotypes and pictures..before visiting USA, my media influence was that of Hollywood...I never thought the continent had it own challenges too.
      Yes the media is right focusing on Africa's challenges but they are too many positives and great things about Africa that most people never know because the media never covers them.
      And you are very right about wildlife, virgin untapped "continent"...tribes and cultures...
      Africa has more than 50 countries...with me been biased I would recommend you start with Kenya....lol
      Thanks for sharing....
      Love,Mary
  • Apr 7 2013: poverty,dirty water,so many babies,singing and dancing
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      Apr 10 2013: Hi Amily,
      Haha...I can't hold back my laughter reading so many babies...lol....and yes they play outside the whole day....singing and dancing is also there and in varieties....poverty and dirty water is the challenges that some African faces, though that should not discourage you from visiting and witnessing the lovely continent...
      Thanks for sharing,
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 6 2013: A landscape full of beautiful animals and nature, a foreign land that is like none other, and people I have never met with traditions, cultures and perspectives that I am longing to learn from.

    I didn't have to think much about my answer after I read your question, but for some inexplicable reasons I feel like there's an impending alternative at the back of my head. I think you're making a great point here, though. It is true that people associate different regions in this world solely based on media, stereotypes, etc without having had that "first hand experience". I think it's quite absurd because speaking in terms of stereotypes - their factual standpoints are limited.
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      Apr 9 2013: Hey FNU,
      Yes beautiful place full of great experiences that you should not postpone anymore to learn more about and to share your experiences....
      I totally agree with your view that majority associate different region based on media..and it is quite stereotypical...and gauging from the replies I am getting..majority of people view Africa as a "dark continent"...just the way the media has made them believe....so you are right....
      I think this means that if the media was to share the positive side of Africa, then people will start seeing Africa as this great continent....
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 6 2013: I am From Africa and I'm proud of it. The first thing that comes to mind is Natural Endowment. Check out my blog http://seductiontipsnaija.blogspot.com for great how to seduce tips
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      Apr 9 2013: Hey Ojie,

      Thanks for sharing and your pride for Africa is great.....yes Africa is full of natural resources and great potential....thanks for sharing your blog link....

      Love, Mary
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    Xi Yuan

    • +1
    Apr 6 2013: A black guy with golden ear-ring,
    he's looking backward
    but not particular at anything
    which makes him seem nervous.
    And he's just overwhelmed by the things surround him.
    While another guy's looking at him firmly.
    It's noise and quiet.

    Am I a freak????
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      Apr 9 2013: Hi Xi,
      Lol....should I say you are a freak or not????? Your thought provoked me to imagine the picture of the black guy with golden ear-ring...and I thought...this might be a message to Africa about the untapped potential.....African has some much to deal with...they get overwhelmed with challenges plus opportunities plus resources.....

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 6 2013: Water.
    Just that Africa is so in need of water.

    Don't want you to take this the wrong way, but whenever I think of Africa, I feel necessity not to waste water.

    It would be awkward to ask if it's okay to have this kind of thought..
    But is the way I think sounds ridiculous?
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      Apr 9 2013: Hi Elizabeth,
      Thanks for genuinely sharing your thoughts. I felt the same guilty wasting food when a thought of hungry children crossed my mind. However, I realized that unless I do something positive..the guilty part does not help the situation. Use your water in enjoyable free way and help where you can....there are numerous of organization that drill borehole in Africa for as little as $5 dollars donation. Africa has enough water...the means of supplying clean water is the challenge......
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 6 2013: Wine & exotic animals.
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      Apr 9 2013: Hey S. Dudley,
      The wildlife is amazing...I can surely bet Africa is the mother of nature...and with a glass of wine...Life is Great in Africa.....(pay a visit and realize your thoughts)
      Thanks for sharing....

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 6 2013: I think of open plains wild animals blue skies.
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      Apr 9 2013: Hey Chris,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
      Your thoughts are on point...yes open plains...wild animals and the clear blue skies filled with stars at night....
      This is more than enough reason to visit Africa...and my advise...start with Kenya ( I am biased).....
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 6 2013: I think of poverty, drought stricken regions of West Africa, with countless warlords and gangs driving around small Toyota trucks. My views are probably most influenced by the commercials for African charities, which feature impoverished areas, and from a book called "A Long Way Gone" by Ishamael Beah. This autobiographical book centered around the life of a boy living in war-torn Sierra Leon.
    I do realize this narrow perspective certainly does not describe most of this beautiful continent, but unfortunately, it is the FIRST thing that comes to mind...
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      Apr 9 2013: Hey Jonathan,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and clarifying what might have influenced your perspective on Africa. It is sad that quite a number of literature and media focus on negatives and rarely the positives. This has made people to associate Africa with poverty, war and neediness. The only positive thing that people might talk about is safari, wildlife because of geographical channels.
      I agree with your sentence "I do realize this narrow perspective certainly does not describe most of this beautiful continent". There is more to Africa that people need to know. Africa is the mother of love, greatness, natural resources, warm and caring people among other things. One way to learn and experience the hidden gem is by visiting Africa.....
      Love, Mary
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    May P

    • +1
    Apr 5 2013: I think about the Congo. Maybe because it's close to the center, but probably because of Barbara Kingsolver's book The Poisonwood Bible, which is my nearest connection to Africa. (A truly beautiful book - I recommend it to anyone interested in an inspection of culture, religion, and family.)

    The next thing I think is "what do you mean by Africa?", because the clumping of Africa into one lump is something that's bothered me for a long time. I'd like to share a story about this: Once in high school, my choir sang a song in Swahili. Our director asked us where Swahili was spoken - we should know, she said, because cultural knowledge is an important part of performing a song. Several people said "Africa". Only a few people knew that Swahili is spoken in Kenya and Tanzania (among other countries). I was horribly dismayed that so many people would state "Africa" as though there were one language (I'm a linguistics major now; languages are very important to me) for the whole continent - the second largest continent in the world - especially considering what an important lingua franca Swahili is. If you asked where Dutch was spoken, no one would say Europe. I don't expect people to know where Kikongo is spoken (DRC), but shouldn't people know about Africaans? And at least recognize that Africa is an incredibly language diverse continent - with thousands of languages, dialects, cultures, traditions, etc.?

    I am well aware that I am a part of the ignorance. My African geography is not as good as is should be - although it's better than many people I know - and my knowledge of current and historical African events is lacking. I donate money to eradicate AIDS and hunger and poverty and abuse, but I know very little about the culture it's going to and the people it will help. This is a gap in my education - only superficially filled by a section on "Africa" in middle school - and I hope to fix it.

    Thank you for the thought provoking question.

    Hugs,
    May
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      Apr 9 2013: Hey May,
      Thanks for sharing your detailed thoughts. Yes Africa is a continent with so many countries, each country with it own different ethnic tribes meaning many languages and culture. I don't know whether it is a sad thing to say that I don't actually know how many African languages we have. For instance in Kenya alone we have over 50 dialects, and there are not on my fingertips...only the major ones.... I am curious to find out how about Africa and share with the world as a learning process.
      (I am part of the ignorance too).....but I will change that ....( I would tend to think why majority refer to the whole continent as "Africa" and not by individual countries...is because the countries have more similarities than differences)
      Thanks so much for helping great causes...and continue doing the great work....
      You should visit Africa to identify and witness the diversity...also experience the sweetness and sourness of Africa...
      Thanks for the hug...it is keeping me warm...
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 5 2013: Hunger and poverty, kids suffereing from mulnutrition, non-structural and small shelter, place where you got to walk for an hour to reach a school or hospital... I think basically my thoughts are influenced the activities that I have participated in, to be specific Famine 30 of World Vision and a research done on background of DR Congo.
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      Apr 9 2013: Hey Ng Yee,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I can identify with the origin of your thoughts...I worked with World Vision for 7 months..and yes, their main focus is poverty, lack and need. So your thoughts are right based on the source of information. I love the fact that you know there is more to Africa other than poverty and hunger......The other side of Africa that is rarely mentioned is great people, untapped potential, massive natural resources.....among other not forgetting a trip of a life time ( Safari)......Hope you visit Africa one day and discover the truth....
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 5 2013: a picture of the continent
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      Apr 9 2013: Hey Justin,

      You made my day....yes a picture of continent...does it contain some countries in it? and if yes, how many countries can you identify....
      Thanks
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 5 2013: Helo Mary

    Welcome!

    I'd love to do a safari through Africa.

    I can not imagine the number of existing tribes in Africa ... I do not know the number of Indian tribes still existing in Brazil, Rs.

    Kisses, Tham
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      Apr 9 2013: Oh....Tham,

      Thanks for replying and sincerely, I don't know the actual tribes but with over 800 languages, I would guess the tribes are close to that...I will definitely check out the actual number and update you.....
      Welcome to Africa anytime

      Love, Mary
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    Apr 5 2013: Hey Mary, I think of a warm, enchanting continent with a lot of wealth and history. I think of misunderstood cultures that are linked and have so much logic and teachings but because of the humble nature and mysticism, they are often undermined or judged. Having lived part of my life in an oppressed and rural era and being old enough to see the transition into a democratic and free country such as South Africa, I have been privy to the internal battles of a lot of Africans between their own culture and the western cultures. I believe this frustration is one of the root causes of some of the turmoil the international media highlights. The authentic and untainted Africa is welcoming,giving and loving. Definitely a must see continent on everyone’s bucket list.
    PS. The animals are in Zoo's and Nature reserves. Wonderful to visit on a weekend getaway!
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      Apr 9 2013: Hey Nthabiseng,
      I love the way you summed it. And your experiences fit well in describing what happened and is happening in Africa. Yes the authentic and untainted Africa is welcoming, giving and loving....I couldn't agree more that visiting Africa should be on everyone's bucket list...it is a life changing experience.
      Thanks for contributing....hope you visit Africa soon....start with Kenya:) (I am biased....)
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 4 2013: exotic, incredible animals, frightening with civil wars, poverty, famine, girls still sold in marriage, female genital mutilation, drought, and possibly the birthplace of all humans
    have been told that parts of Africa are some of the most beautiful places on this planet
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      Apr 5 2013: Hey Cynthia,
      Yes Africa is the mother and father of incredible amazing animal and beautiful sceneries. This part of the world has unexplainable beauty and yet we sometime chose to taint it with civil strife and war and some outdated cultural practices. The FGM is still there..(sad practice) but I am glad it is declining and people are slowly adopting to humane practices. .....Early marriage is something that particular tribe still practices (consoling fact: it is declining)......I always love to entertain the thought of Africa been the birthplace of all humans...it give me hope.
      Love, Mary
      • Apr 5 2013: Incredible people, special empowered women like you, who are walking their talk, giving back, and being of service, that too gives me great hope. Thank you for your most gracious response.
        I am so happy to hear from you that girls and women are receiving more equality. As a westerner I know I cannot really understand some cultural traditions that have existed for centuries.

        Peace & Love, Cynthia
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          Apr 9 2013: Hey Cynthia,
          Thanks for the sweet reply and vote of confidence Cynthia. And yes, being a westerner is quite hard to understand African cultural traditions. I too find it hard to identify with some cultural traditions such as FGM and Early Marriage....
          I thank westerners and the global at large i.e those people who have put resources and effort to empowering African women and girls...and I bet with sharing of information (internet) Africa is opening up and women and girls equality is not far fetched...

          Love, Mary
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    Apr 4 2013: Civil Wars and Famine
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      Apr 5 2013: Hey Orlando,Thanks for sharing your thoughts.Yes there are civil wars and famine...however this is just one tiny side of the coin. Africa is the land of beauty, untapped potential and lovely people. If only we could open our eyes and make civil wars and famine history....Love, Mary
  • Apr 4 2013: Mount Killimanjaro, famine, incredible Kenyan marathon runners, the novel "Cutting for Stone." I"m sure there's more, but those are the first things that come to mind.
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      Apr 5 2013: Hey Bonnie,
      You are the first to name Kenyan marathon runners....woooah....As a reward, I give you a Kenyan name if you may allow me. "Bonnie Korir". Yes Mount Kilimanjaro is incredible...famine is there too....Africa and our global brothers and sisters should make it a priority to ensure that basic necessity are available to all.

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 4 2013: For me its Africa is :
    1) An amazingly rich culture
    2) Multipule tribes with different languages
    3) Incredibly beautiful and colourful outfits
    4) Lions and elephants
    5) Country of mystery and non-commercialised people
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      Apr 5 2013: Hey Miroslav,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and all of them are positive and correct.....Wooaah....It is incredible to have such thoughts...you should make a point of visiting and making your thoughts a reality.....
      I especially love the beautiful and colourful outfits...I am from East Africa and I genuinely admire the richness in colours of West Africa traditional dresses..namely Ghana, Nigeria...
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 4 2013: The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear Africa is::
    1)Lions,Elephants,Monkeys,Giraffes,etc.
    2)Poverty stricken people dying from AIDS
    3)Tribes living in huts
    4)A race of people that dislike African Americans
    5)Shaka Zulu
    6)Slavery
    7)Women with phenomenal bodies
    8)Conflict Diamonds
    9)Rebel forces terrorizing helpless villagers
    10)That damn commercial asking you to donate $$$ to help feed a hungry child that comes on late night
    television

    I KNOW my thoughts are influenced by the representation created by the media here in America! It's offset by Africans that I've met personally here in America & from what I've read in books & magazines! I believe the continent has received a more negative wrap which overshadows the true greatness of the place! I hope that one day I actually get a chance to visit the homeland of my ancestors so I can experience all the greatness it has to offer myself!!!

    SN: Mary you're BEAUTIFUL!!! :-)
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      Apr 5 2013: Hey Emanuel,Thanks for taking your time and sharing your thoughts....Thanks for complimenting Mama Africa about her beauty...lol (I appreciate your compliement)
      1) Yes Africa is the mother of wonderful, amazing wildlife....all people should make it to Africa to witness the untold beauty
      2) Yes Africa has the hightest AID rate compared to the rest of the world. However this does not mean all people are infected, the great news is that the rates are going down.
      3) Hahahahahah.....this made me laugh...yes there are still tribes living in huts..amazing how they have preserved their culture.
      4) Sigh:) I can identify with you...this is a stereotype...Africans and African Americans need to embrace each other. The hatred is artificial and skin deep. When you get to know someone people get along so well.
      5) Yaaaah....Big up South Africa
      6) Slavery...somewhat long gone but the effects are still there especially mental damage
      7) Hahaha....need not to comment
      8) Rich in natural resources, yet poor economically....who is the chicken now? We need to recognize truth
      9) It is painful to see fellow African raising against each other
      10) Hehehe...I have nothing against the commercial, though I have something against the media, it is time to show the great, positive, healthy and able AFRIICA.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 4 2013: actually am an African.truth to tell ,Africa is the home of beauty.It is after all the origin of man.what is more important than this..........?
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      Apr 5 2013: Hey Tinkish,
      Thanks for contributing and letting the world know that Africa is beauty...

      Which country are you from....? I am from Kenya...

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 4 2013: Mary, I lived in the USA and Canada for about 6 years, and over that time I had the chance to make lots of friends from many countries of Africa. I'm a musician, a bass player, and I don't have to say how Brazilian music has been influenced by African music, and so it's regarding soccer. There's a kind of "happiness no matter what" that permeates our being, which's also come from Africa. The last soccer world cup was held in Africa, and the next will be held in Brazil, and one of the features the world will witness is how we're good at partying, just like you Africans, our closest brothers and sisters. African culture was conveyed to Brazil by the sad episode of slavery, which still hurts me, but on the other hand, Africans were the greatest gift Brazil has got ever as they are simply the most essential ingredient of our actual culture and people. That's why I feel these two lands should get together somehow, we should get closer and closer to celebrate and carry on our fraternity! Africans soul is within any Brazilian, and it feels we've been all missing a closer relationship! I hope our governments and people will find the way to construct that "bridge" to connect our territories. Love, Gerdson
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      Apr 5 2013: Hey Gerdson,
      You have awakened a spirit in me that want to learn more about Brazilians. I did not know that Africa had so much influence. I always recognize the similiarities we have such as partying for the moment and just enjoying simple things in life, but never connected the relationship. Not forgetting the great coffee Brazil and Kenya produce....Atleast I know how to pick coffee...so somewhat I wld fit well in Brazil...I should make it a future plan to visit Brazil...hopefully World cup.And yes, the brothers and sisters all over the world are slowly recognizing that there is no better way out rather than connecting and interdependently living with each other. Thanks so much for sharing.....How was your experience in USA and Canada?
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 4 2013: Hello Mary,
    My parents emigrated from Holland after the war, and I was lucky to be born in Zim.. I feel I am African.. it so much more than the color of our skins. Africa gets under our skins :)
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      Apr 4 2013: Hey Doreen,

      Thanks again for replying and sharing your background....and Yes skin is one part of us.
      I could tell by your earlier comment that Africa experience is just in you....Great continent we have....

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 4 2013: Yes I have been to Africa. As a born and bred American you can imagine my culture shock coming right from Hollywood California to the place where life originated. The big city I went was loud of course and honks and everyone going somewhere so fast. Here in Los Angeles you don't honk only if you are sooo pissed off you can't take it anymore. I was amazed at the beauty and the lush green lands. I was amazed at the friendliness and kindness of the people. Inviting me to dinner every few minutes everywhere I went to meet the family. Here that never happens. very few occasions people open their home. Very isolated. I loved how there was So much innocents about where I come from and I had also so much innocence about the people of Africa.
    But it was a shock to find out about female castration there and how the women compared it to why I don't shave my arms. I did run around and ask each and every man why they do that ... for two days straight!.. They all had the same answer. Cause when we go to war we don't want our women cheating on us. I must say I did come back to America thankful for our protection here. I did feel vulnerable over there. But as I said there are so many beautiful hearts in Africa I remember each and every one, left a lasting impression of how important it is to have an open heart.
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      Apr 4 2013: Hey Linda,
      Hahaha, I can identify with culture shock my dear Linda, I experienced the same when I moved to US, the individuality approach was killing me.....I could not understand why I was sharing my snacks with classmates and they would turn down my offer. On the other hand, I was shocked to learn that all majority of cars don't emit smoke...as it is the case in Kenya...(Mainly Africa)...and yes honking is the order of the day in Africa...
      I can't stand Nairobi...same way I can't stand New York...busy people walking so fast.....I used to get headache trying to navigate not roadblocks or building but people.
      I am glad you appreciated the openness of African people...and yes their innocence.
      It is sad at 21st century FGM is been practiced in some place, the good news is that it is declining with organizations and government campaigning against it. I was lucky to be born in a tribe that had down away with the practice....
      Thanks for sharing this beautiful encounter.....

      Which country(ies) did you visit?

      Did life originate from Africa?

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 4 2013: I think of the wonderful Arab world, the lands of Morocco, the deserts and a plethora of native animals. Sometimes I think of small African children playing and displaying their innocence and oblivion of what is to come.
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      Apr 4 2013: Hey Sharmin,
      I love the way you put it.....yes the Arab world is wonderful and great despite all the challenges.....
      And yes, the children displaying their innocence, playing and playing as if nothing else matters....I miss those innocent days.....If I was to grow up again...I would definitely chose Kenya.....waking up in the morning....joining other children outside and playing till sunset...and parents are not bothered where you are.....and guess what...whichever home you visit that day...you are well fed....lol

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 4 2013: PARADISE!
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      Apr 4 2013: Hey Vera,
      No need to add anything.... Africa is PARADISE... (Maybe it is heaven on earth yet to be discovered...lol)

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 3 2013: The first things that come to mind are war and poverty, hunger and famine
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      Apr 4 2013: Hey Andy,

      Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts....yes there is war and poverty, hunger and famine....however that is just one side of the same coin. The other side of Africa that the media never talk about is that it is a lovely, wealthy, rich, magnificent continental. Rich culture, community belonging, caring and loving people.
      We do appreciate all this challenges of war, poverty and hunger and I do believe that the world and Africans themselves want to put an end on this....

      Love, Mary......
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    Apr 3 2013: The first thing that comes into my mind when it comes to Africa is:

    Savannah, giraffe, leopard and African tribes.
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      Apr 4 2013: Hey Tham,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
      The thought is on point...giraffe ( I love the long neck and cute small face) "fascinating animal....I fear leopard....and yes savannah and other great scenery....

      Can you guess approximate how many tribes there are in Africa? Lol

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 3 2013: Poverty, hunger, tribal wars, children soldiers, and the killing of gorillas and elephants. And a beautiful view, lots of flowers, good soil, lost opportunities.
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      Apr 4 2013: Hey Simone,Thanks for sharing your thoughts.....Yes all the negatives you have mentioned currently exist in Africa, however, Africa is largely ipopulated with beautiful loving people....beautiful scenery....great and love flowers....and the soil is great in major parts....
      As for the lost opportunites..I would personally think it is "untapped opportunities".....Africans have many positives, capabilities and resources that they don't yet recognize.

      Has the media influenced you in any way when it comes to the negative thoughts?
      • Apr 4 2013: Hi Mary,

        Well, I often read all types of news from all over the world, so it is difficult to say I was not influenced by the media. Somehow, I compare the "untapped" possibilities with what I heard about Brazil, a country with a "high potential". I would prefer to see the "potential" materialise as more honest behaviour, less clientelism, more sharing with the population, more schools created, etc.

        I have to say that I have seen beautiful photos of Africa too, like nice people, lakes, deserts, volcanoes, animals,... But I would be discouraged to visit, as I would not feel safe...
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          Apr 5 2013: Hi Simone,
          Yes, Africa has so much untapped potential and with the new age...we will be privileged to witness the transformation step by step.
          Thanks for stating how you feel. You are not alone, many people share the same feeling with you. Generally Africa is associated with negatives such as civil war and strife, dangerous place to be, diseases and such. It is human to keep away from what can negatively affect us. What the majority of people don't know is that Africa is like any other continent with both bad and good. Africa good is more than bad, but the media concentrate more on the bad...also the effects are exaggarated.
          Truth is the only thing that can wipe away your fear for safety and by then you could buy a ticket and off you witness the beautiful photos and sceneries.....
          Love, Mary
  • Apr 3 2013: Freedom! Same freedom you get when you get on the motorcycle or when the rain is pouring and you get soaked up, but still love it. Of course, lions, zebras and hypos also come to mind, but overall it's freedom.
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      Apr 4 2013: Hey Spas,
      This is a very interesting comment Spas, can you please elaborate futher why you associate Africa with Freedom? Thanks...

      Yes...the wildlife is amazing....and lovely people too...

      Love, Mary
      • Apr 7 2013: Hey Mary,
        Sorry for getting back so late.
        I think of freedom because more or less in my mind Africa has been left out by our so-called modern society norms and rules. Not to say there are no rules, it's just that our society has rules that govern pretty much every single aspect of life and very little is left in terms of wilderness (not only natural)
        . See, people are so dependent on these rules and norms that they are completely incapable of existing without them and this is scary. It's like a prison, only that the bars are invisible...
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          Apr 10 2013: Hey Spas,
          Thanks for replying once more.
          I totally agree...the modern systems has yet to catch up with Africa...Having lived in both Kenya and US...I would say rules US to me feel like a robotic system....work...pay bills....while in Kenya...one can comfortably live on less money and have fun...however both systems have pros and cons.....
          And yes it is scary when people become dependent and get caught up in the system....
          Love, Mary
  • Apr 3 2013: 1. poor people dancing with poles or spears, jumping up and down 2. Humphrey Bogart 3. Friends of mine who go on christian missions, resembling vacation trips, 4. rape, rape, rape 5. murder 6. endangered species of animals being killed and wasted 7. giraffes.
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      Apr 4 2013: Hey Mary,"Mary had a little lamb" ( American always ask me if I know the song, once I introduce myself as Mary). I had a little goat though...did you have a little lamb??....lol....
      Back to serious business
      1. Your first thought.....I can associate it with one tribe I am familiar with "Masai in Kenya"....they dance holding spears....about the poverty... when it comes to finances and in comparison to standards expectation.
      2. Humphrey Bograt....Please tell me alittle about this gentleman...thanks..
      3. I love this one....atleast friends ( Did you wonna visit Africa after hearing their experiences?)
      4. Oh my god....this is terrible and on the rise....(facts from my village)....
      5. Hope people can become more empathatic and caring....not forgetting reasonable...
      6. Truly agree with animals being killed and wish we could be more caring
      7. Lovely giraffes with their height and spots....I find giraffes beautiful especially long neck and "small" mouthThanks for contributing and sharing your thoughts Mary......I just replied back with my thoughts...some can be biased.....Love, Mary
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    Apr 1 2013: I think of savannah grasslands and apex predators.
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      Apr 4 2013: Hey Ryan,You are right on point....savannah grassland but what is apex predators?Thanks,Love, Mary
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        Apr 4 2013: Mary,

        Apex predators are Lions, Tigers, Cheetahs; animals that when they become adult, have no predators of their own and are at the top of the food chain. Hope this helps.

        Peace, Ryan :)
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          Apr 5 2013: Hey Ryan,

          Thanks for educating me....It truly helps

          Love, Mary
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    Mar 31 2013: A large continent located to the South of the European one.
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      Apr 1 2013: Hey Eirini,
      Very much on the point...in fact Africa is the 2nd largest continent......Hope you visit one day...

      Love Mary
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      Apr 1 2013: Hey Jamie,
      Thanks for educating us. Yes Africa is very BIG, contrary to what some people think. Thanks for the link too.
      Definitely that is the size of a CONTINENT not a COUNTRY

      Love, Mary
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    Mar 31 2013: The first image comes into my mind is the scrag,especially,the children
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      Apr 4 2013: Hey yang....Nihao if I am right assuming your name is chinese...otherwise I beg your pardon...lol
      Please explain to me what is scrag...thanks

      Love, Mary
      • Apr 4 2013: I am Chinese ~scrag refers to the thin man
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          Apr 4 2013: Nihao Arrietti,

          Xie Xie for telling me what scrag means...am in the learning process....Yes, the media has succeeded in painting the hungry children pictures into people mind.
          The thin and malnourished children exist in Africa but not the extent that people think of. There is a big portion of healthy vibrant children and adult in Africa.....
          We just need to change the image and let people know the truth.......The beautiful side of Africa that all should learn and visit to see....(You should visit Kenya...I worked with some Chinese and we twice went for safaris...they enjoyed....i took them to my village and were amazed by the niceness of my parents and villagers.....)

          Love, Mary
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    Mar 29 2013: I'll be keeping people up-to-date as plans come together and will be pulling together some technology that will allow me to communicate once on the ground. I'm still daunted by the logistics so I haven't reached excitement yet! That will come!
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      Apr 2 2013: Hey Ingrid,

      I am so looking forward to your plans and witnessing your trip come true.....much love and support...
      Remember to take each day at a time, don't overwhelm yourself...You need to reserve energy for the Excitement and Exploration!

      Love, Mary
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    Mar 28 2013: Elephants, music and slavery used to be the first things that came to my mind when I thought about Africa. However, as I make plans to be in the DRC, both Sudans, Uganda and Rwanda this autumn I primarily think of war and the survivors of it.
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      Mar 29 2013: Hey Ingrid,
      Thanks for commenting and sharing your plans to visit Africa. The big five...mother of all (Elephant) and yes the varieties of music is a great way to think of Africa....also slavery is a reminder of who are Africans and what they have had to go through.I hope you enjoy your visit to DRC, Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda. I am sure you will enjoy having made such a decision. I would be glad to know how your experience turns out to be.....
      Love, Mary
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    Mar 28 2013: I'm from south Africa. Just while you at it Mary,what defines a person to belong to Africa? Or vice versa? Btw, love the topic. Interesting reading.
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      Mar 28 2013: Hey Yusuf,

      I am glad you love the topic. The discussion was mainly for people who have never been to Africa...however, I have some people who have been there and have contributed to the discussion. You are welcome to contribute your experience and insights...though you are from SA.

      Love Mary
  • Mar 28 2013: community!.. i am a real american boi, who lives a very nomadic life; as im typing this from an airport in north carolina, i refuse to confide in the media!?!.. i barely even watch t.v. its gotton to be so disturbing!?... but anywho, im glad u posted this topic mary, because i definitly belive that the mainstrea media plays a crucial role in todays perception on the most spiritual people as well, richest land in the whole world! my question to you mary is, you being an african native, do you feel that there can be a mended bond between wealthy africans and african americans to create a black ienterprise , so we can show the world that not everything has to be bombs & scandals!??
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      Mar 28 2013: Big up brutha, You sister here from another matha is excited to reply to your comment. I truly love your deviance from mainstream media and you truly know and believe that Africa is wealthy. Yes it is disturbing to watch the news and information portrayed by media. Media has a way of instilling fear in people.
      To answer your question, there is nothing that the mind can conceive that it can't achieve. Yes a bond between wealthy Africans, and African American is possible, and possibly a bond between wealthy African American and African......We have to join hands and reclaim our glory, while making this world a better place......

      Love, Mary
  • Mar 27 2013: aids, scorching heat, jungles, children with large stomachs, violence, upheaval of political systems, lawlessness, Mandela, hope
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      Mar 28 2013: Hey Edith, I love that your train of thoughts count all the ill and then realizes that there is hope in Africa not forgetting the great man Mandela who has set an example of what Africa is capable of.
      With all this negatives though, there is a greater percentage of positives and great people....plus an unforgettable life changing experience.
      Can you visit Africa?

      Love, Mary
  • Mar 26 2013: wild animals, very hot weather, beautiful landscape and nice people.
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      Mar 28 2013: Hey Joanne,

      I am so much liking your thoughts......Hope you visit beautiful landscape soon and enjoy the treat from wonderful people.....

      Love, Mary
  • Mar 26 2013: Beautiful, broken, untouched, manipulated - (I have been though)
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      Mar 28 2013: Hey Taryn,

      Thanks for your comment. Yes I agree with the 4 words; Yes beautiful yet broken. Untouched, awaiting discovery and yet suffering a lot from outside and inner manipulation

      Where did you visit and what was your experience?
  • Comment deleted

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      Mar 26 2013: Hey Kunal,

      I am deeply Kenyan...writing..talking, smell is all Kenyan..lol. Habari gani? I know so many Asian particularly Indian who lives in Nairobi (Parkland) not forgetting the spicy smell coming off the Indian shop...( I love passing by the shop just for the spicy scent).
      I know Dr. David Owuor and I agree, prayers can change people. People need to change way of thinking and I tend to believe that Kenyans are prayerful but it seem they lack a clear understanding of what nature/God expect of us.
      In regards to wealthy vs. middle class...I tend to lean more to blaming both the oppressor and the oppressed. We sometime 100% take oppressed as a victim and never as a perpetrator. Oppressed too have a huge responsibility to play...it is their duty to say NO to oppression otherwise, the oppressor will think that the platform is smooth as usual to move the dice....

      Love Mary
  • Mar 25 2013: I hate to say this but I see poverty, sadness, and starving children. Stereotypical thoughts are very strong in Africa related matters...
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      Mar 26 2013: Hey Christopher,
      I love the way you stated your views and followed with the words "stereotypical thoughts". It means at least you know that even though there is poverty, sadness and such, there is more good and greatness if one is willing to find out.

      Love,

      Mary
      • Mar 27 2013: I want to add something more to my answer. Despite the poverty and hardships in Africa, it shouldn't necessarily mean that people are sad due to those reasons. I read a news article before once about each city's happiness. Surprisingly some cities with high life expectancy rate, clean environment, and good social plans have lower happiness rate than some other cities. Although a lot of happiness comes from how well we live our life, whether or not we have enough resources, I think human spirit is also very important. Through a lot of documentaries I have seen, African people try to overcome their hardships and poverty with the power of human spirit. Surely there is a possibility of Africa being like any other continents in this world!!
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          Mar 28 2013: Thanks Christopher for adding more insights.
          Yes human spirit is very crucial, when the body and circumstances seem to work against us, it is the power of human spirit that findeth a way. I too look forward to a GREAT Africa. It is possible to achieve stability. Happiness is measured by wealthy accumulation but rather by fulfillment of what we hold most dear too.
          You might find the happiest woman in a small village in Kenya, by virtue of getting food to feed her children "who she values most" she is happy and wait the following day to look for more food.....

          Love, Mary
  • Mar 24 2013: HUMANITY
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      Mar 25 2013: Ohhh....very nice of you Edwin...

      Love,

      Mary
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    Mar 24 2013: First things comes to my mind is, i want to go there. The continent seems distant. Aparthied, seggregation of people on basis of their color in south africa, poverty in other African countries. Wonderful jungle, savanah, wild animals.
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      Mar 25 2013: The poverty level is high compared to some continents....however this does not mean all African are poor. It is a normal continent like any other i.e. very rich, middle class and poor.

      Yes go see the wild animals and amazing people, you might be surprised that though people don't have as much wealth, there might as well be named the happiest....

      Love, Mary......( I told you twice to visit)
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        Mar 25 2013: I have been to Egypt. nice place, ancient history.
        Definately i will go th South Africa too. Suggest any other places.
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    Mar 24 2013: Place where beautiful and brave people live! :)
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      Mar 25 2013: Woooah......when I hear the word beautiful....I go like woooah...you just nailed it home...and yes African are brave people....
      Thanks

      Love,
      Mary
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    Mar 24 2013: Safari! :D Animals, beautiful women, beautiful music.
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      Mar 25 2013: Hey Gail,

      And definitely make a decision and let your first thoughts become a reality......Yes a Safari....

      Love,

      Mama Africa
  • Mar 24 2013: As a college student major in construction translation, I may go to Aferica to work as a translator for SOEs in China. I personlly think that to work in Aferica is really a challenge. My father is ok with my decision, but my mother showed strong disagreement concerning this issue... I'm in a dilemma .
    The first thing that come into my mind when hearing the word 'Aferica' is exploring and trying to be safe...
    The movie 'Beasts Of Southern Wild' presented an 'Aferican fairy tale' in front of the world. Also I believe China always have sound and healthy relationships with Aferican countries.
    South Afeirca may be much safer and welthier than North Aferica. My foreign teacher once got shot while visiting North Aferica.
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    Mar 24 2013: A lot of children in Russia get their first idea of Africa from this child book by a children's poet Chukovsky who is, perhaps, as classical in Russia as Dr. Seuss in the U.S.

    Маленькие дети!
    Ни за что на свете
    Не ходите в Африку,
    В Африку гулять!
    В Африке акулы,
    В Африке гориллы,
    В Африке большие
    Злые крокодилы
    Будут вас кусать,
    Бить и обижать,-
    Не ходите, дети,
    В Африку гулять.

    В Африке разбойник,
    В Африке злодей,
    В Африке ужасный
    Бар-ма-лей!

    Он бегает по Африке
    И кушает детей -
    Гадкий, нехороший, жадный Бармалей!

    It portrays Africa as a very dangerous place with very dangerous animals (sharks, gorillas, and crocodiles) who would bite and hurt, and a dangerous villain Barmaley who eats small children. In the tale, Africa is used as some proverbial place where children should not go. Of course, the children end up running away to Africa and getting into a lot of trouble.

    I realize that this tale has nothing to do with reality, but somehow, I retained this image of Africa as a dangerous place. Other associations created by media: genocide, colonialism, slave trade, pirates, recent events in Mali. For some reason, thinking of a zoo is impossible without thinking of Africa.

    On the other side, there are accounts from my friends who traveled to places like Tanzania - abundance, hospitality.

    Perhaps, Africa is not at the top of my list of places to visit, but I hope to see it some day and form my own opinions.
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      Mar 25 2013: Hey Arkady,

      Thanks for the posting the poem and explain what it means. I agree that some literature and stereotypes are not quiet a true reflection of reality. In my case, When I think of Russia, I think of a Ruthless government and mean people. However, I know this is not the whole truth after meeting with some generous, loving Russian...

      "For some reason, thinking of a zoo is impossible without thinking of Africa. "...Totally agree....
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        Mar 25 2013: There is truth in your stereotype of ruthless government and mean people. Of course, generalizations are never true. Another poet said about Russia, "Умом Россию не понять, в Россию можно только верить." - "It's impossible to understand Russia, it's only possible to believe in Russia." Perhaps, Russians are not as much mean as careless. The people have been abused for so many centuries, starting with Mongols and ending with communists that "screw it" attitude became a way of life. You won't find a lot of political correctness or concerns with community and global issues in Russia. This is why poems like this are read to children for decades. Being "nice" and smiling to each other is not a part of the everyday protocol. But on a personal level, Russians are fun. Plenty of food and vodka is a must and no formalities are necessary :-).

        But, perhaps, my view is also a stereotype.
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          Mar 26 2013: Hey Arkady,

          It is human nature to use shortest way possible and stereotypes are one of the easiest way to reach a conclusion. It takes courage and hungry for truth to find the truth or at least some facts. For instance the tale about Africa been dangerous can make one form a stereotype of dangerous Africa. Yes some animals are dangerous but one has to take precaution when approaching them. Second, the fact that Russians are not so attracted to smiling and showing public "niceness" does not necessarily mean they are mean.

          I agree that on Personal level, Russian are much fun.....and yes they know how to let go and just enjoy. I admire the lack of formalities...spontaneity is fun

          Love Mary
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    Mar 23 2013: Adventure, internal strife, the land of plenty (for the tribal rulers anyway), magnificence, passionate people, and slavery and abuse by the indigenous people betraying their own for selfish reasons. Truly a continent of contrasts that defy the imagination.
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      Mar 25 2013: Hello Sir " Testing Cancer"

      You have put the summation in a great way....Yes Africa is a blend of magnificence and challenges....though the beautiful passionate people, make one to overlook the challenges and just fall in love with the continent once you visit.....
      Pay a visit "Safari" to bring the compare and contrast the imagination with reality

      Love,

      Mama Africa...
  • Mar 22 2013: I think of the music... I play kalimba. Then I think of a lion......
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    Mar 21 2013: safari! except for the hunting part, i'd love to someday be part of an exploration expedition in Africa.
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      Mar 22 2013: Question First, Lol, I love your profile pic. Yes plan for safari....there are many monkeys in Kenya...hope you decide to visit there....and other beautiful African countries. Thanks for your contribution
  • Comment deleted

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      Mar 22 2013: Hey ZX Style, I couldn't agree more. Yes I miss the clear blue sky, not forgetting lying on grass and watching numerous millions of stars at night. I wonder if Africa and US share the same sky.....lol......I barely see any stars at night in the US.
      I also totally agree that Africa is diverse, For safaris I would recommend Kenya because that where I was born and brought up. I can testify to the existence of big 5...lol ...King Lion and such and not forgetting dry plains and savannahs land.

      Xoxo
      Love Mary
      • Comment deleted

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          Mar 23 2013: ZX...King of the Jungle is the way to go.
          For safari tour, Kenya definitely is the place to start with....Masai Mara, amboseli and amazing landscape... rift valley escarpment, iced with relaxation at Mombasa beaches.
          And yes SA have safaris too.
          My view is biased because I am promoting where I have been.
          The best advice while making such trips is to go open minded and await discovering. Btw you can visit as many countries in one African trip.
  • Apr 20 2013: Toto
  • Apr 20 2013: Hi Mary,
    unfortunately, poverty and inequality is what comes in to my mind. It's true what Jessica has mentioned... I am in the mid east and the questionnaire for blood donation does include if I'd been to africa during the recnt past. I have actually never been to Africa but have seen and heard of so many inspiring stories about the perseverence and bravery of many people. I have recently assigned myself to Bankers without borders and wish to be a part of the voulantary HR Corps for Grameen foundation. My dream is to have an assignment in one of the African countries.
    Regards
    Jay
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    Apr 20 2013: Dear Awesome Contributors,
    As I am writing this it is 2hrs and 43 mins to the end of our conversation. For the past 1 month your have contributed your thoughts and surely it was an amazing journey to learn different thoughts about Africa. Thanks for taking your time and space to think about our "Beautiful Continent" and sharing your thoughts.
    I will leave you with a quote by one of our contributors Dennis Poriot..... (The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa - Richard Mullin)
    If I don't see you in any other part of the world, then let meet in Kenya...
    Love, Mary
  • Apr 12 2013: If you have never been to Africa, I can only say to you the words of Richard Mullin
    " The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa - for he has so much to look forward to"

    Proudly African, proudly Kenyan
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      Apr 17 2013: Hi Dennis,
      Thanks for sharing and I am stealing your Richard Mullin quote if you allow me....I just love it...
      Love Mary
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    Apr 12 2013: When I hear "Africa," I think of raggedly clothed black children whom are half-starved out in the dirt somewhere.
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      Apr 17 2013: Hi Noah,
      Thanks for sharing your thought. I can identify with the part of black children playing outside (dirt, grass and bare land). A smaller percentage lack enough food though Africans has enough resources to feel everyone. Hope we will get there.
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 12 2013: Sadly..but first thing on my mind is hunger & poverty.
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      Apr 16 2013: Hey Biljana,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I identify with your thoughts. Yes the part of Africa that is concerned with hunger and poverty is highly publicized. On the other side, Africa is an amazing continent with numerous resources, potential and lovely people....pay a visit and witness.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 10 2013: The beauty of the country.
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      Apr 16 2013: Hi Deborah,
      Thanks for sharing and Yes Africa is a home of many beautiful diverse countries....
      Love,Mary
  • Apr 10 2013: Priceless natural sources, Diseases, Bloody Wars, Strong black people, low education rate, ecosystem ( wild life),

    sadness, People in Africa deserve much more than this.
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      Apr 16 2013: Hey ONUR,
      I agree with the priceless natural resources Africa is endowed with....yes strong people...and need to combat challenges such as education rate, diseases, war in some regions...and create an even better place for tourist to come and enjoy the wildlife and natural scenery.....
      I agree we deserve more than what we current have....:) We need to think and act differently for different results.
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 10 2013: yes it is anne
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      Apr 11 2013: Hey Anne,
      Thanks for clarifying...
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 8 2013: Kama
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      Apr 11 2013: Hey Maxime,
      Thanks for sharing your thought.
      If I may ask, what do you meaning by Kama?
      Thanks
      Love, Mary
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        Apr 17 2013: Kama is the real name of the African continent. Africa is the name the colonists gave to the continent, but Kama is the ancestral name. Every time i hear Africa i think "they mean Kama" but they don't know.
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          Apr 18 2013: Hi Maxime,
          Thanks for replying once more.
          I have learnt something about Africa that I did not know. I will research and familiarize myself more. Thanks for educating me.
          Love, Mary
  • Apr 8 2013: nature comes to my mind when ever i heard about africa ,
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      Apr 10 2013: Hey Hassan,
      You thought is on point...yes most part of the continent is not tampered with....there is a vast of bare, wild land beautifully filled with lovely amazing animals.....and even the homes and environment if mostly covered with vegetation and grass.....you should visit and enjoy nature...
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 8 2013: Hunger
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      Apr 10 2013: Hey Keyko
      Thanks for sharing your thought.
      Yes, some African are faced with hunger...however the great thing is that there are more positives and great resources within the continent if only we put our acts together...(We can even eliminate hunger)
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 7 2013: Personally, the stunning Savannah and my parents.
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      Apr 10 2013: Hey Will,
      Thanks for sharing and surely they are stunning savannah in Africa.....
      If I may ask, why does the thought of your parents cross your mind? Have they ever been to Africa?
      Thanks
      Love, Mary
      • Apr 12 2013: Well, Mary, no I haven't been to Africa, though I'd love to go.
        But my parents are significant just because my dad was born in Nigeria and my mum in Zimbabwe (or Rhodesia as it was then), but now they've settled here in England.
        I hope this helps with anything
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          Apr 16 2013: Hey Will,
          Thanks for the reply.
          Wooah...that is amazing...you should go and visit the motherland....One of this fine days you should say " Lagos here I come".....and "Harare here I come"...
          Love, Mary
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    Apr 7 2013: The Serengeti
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      Apr 10 2013: Hey Justin,
      Thanks for highlighting Tanzania/Kenya(Masai Mara) tourist destination. You should make it a reality by visiting if you have not done so...you will be glad you did...

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 7 2013: That I wish I get the job I got interviewed like a month ago?
    Never been in Africa and this company is based in Equatorial Guinea,
    Any tips? relevant info in case I get it?

    Thanks,
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      Apr 9 2013: Hey Maria,
      I hope you get the job and make it to Equatorial Guinea. The great thing when you are travelling on work related basis is that the company provide you with information and guides to help you settle.
      On my personal opinion, to withstand the culture shock and other challenges...be open minded...i.e...open your heart...your mind and just experience the moment....been less judgmental helps too.
      Gathering "relevant information" helps too. Try to get contact of people whom you share the same culture and background who are or who have been to Africa and they can share their experiences.....this will accelerate your settling and learning process....Hope this helps
      Love, Mary
  • Apr 6 2013: A place of great potential on all aspects but where a few work hard to oppress the majority through greed.
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      Apr 9 2013: Hey Peter,
      Asante Sana for sharing your thoughts. Yes I agree with your thoughts and I can add the other side if you allow me....." a place where majority follow what the minority"rich" want them to do, without ever challenging the status quo or claiming their birthright". I bet the game of blame is long overdue in Africa, if we are ever to move forward....
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 6 2013: Smiling black kids from the post cards
    Safari and animal movies
    Somali refugees and pirates
    A children song that popular when I was a little

    Not much actually! I have never being to Africa and I have no doubts that my visit of it is totally off.
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      Apr 9 2013: Hey Olga,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Africa. And yes, they are on point.....If I may ask why is your visit to Africa totally off?
      Thanks,

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 6 2013: Boredom, corruption, nothing to do. (Not new to Africa, have been here 20 years)
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      Apr 9 2013: Hey Bill,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.....it is an interesting comment i.e. the boredom and nothing to do part. How to do keep busy?
      Having been in US for 4 years, I sometimes miss the "no hurry in Africa slogan" ....
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 6 2013: Ndimwega!
    Your welcome...i recently got here and its been a month now and quite frankly a bit of culture shock but i'll get the hang of it, continue the good work we need such insights besides the usual, fresh insight....so go ahead and preach my sister!

    Love, Dennis
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      Apr 9 2013: Hey Dennis,
      Great...all will be well, and it is funny when one get a culture shock from own's motherland....thika highway...building...changed communities...stay strong and make Kenya a great place.....

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 5 2013: safari, the direct interaction w nature, ancient wisdom.
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      Apr 5 2013: Hey Salete,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Right on point. No Africa No Safari....and the ancient wisdom is something we need to equip ourselves with if we have to resolve human generated challenges and problems......
      Love, Mary
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    Apr 4 2013: constant beautiful weather, am from Kenya and i love every bit of Her! Africa is the next big thing, best believe that!
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      Apr 5 2013: Habari Yako Dennis (Wimwega!)
      Thanks for supporting my message....I am spreading the gospel of unknown African side...Yes Kenya and Africa at large is beautiful....and Africa is the next big thing.....

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 4 2013: flys
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      Apr 5 2013: Hey Matty,

      Thanks for commenting, I am sincerely lost in the woods...what does flys mean?
      Thanks,

      Love, Mary
  • Apr 4 2013: Ah, they put the bananas as staple food. This is my father told me..
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      Apr 4 2013: Hey Arrietti,

      Yes raw cooked bananas are staple food for majority of African....Also varieties of ripe bananas....
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts...

      Did your father ever visit Africa?
      Love, Mary
  • Mar 29 2013: I think of the actual continent... in the geographical sense. How it could have been joined up with South America and the fact that Australia has extinct volcanos and Africa does which brings me to try to really challenge the theory that we come from Africa.... and then comes that thing I had to do a project on. It was about statistics and just figuring things out. I investigated feritlity rate and dead kids per woman, South-Saharan countries were top ranked in those two categories...
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      Apr 1 2013: Hey Amanda,
      Thanks for the comment and your insight about the research you carried out. It is not surprising to have that data because most African countries don't many high tech medical facilitates. And the ones that have them, they are mostly located in urban/town while most people live in rural areas. There is a definite need for health reform if the statistics were to change coupled with improved infrastructures such as accessible roads and clean water/sanitation.
      And yes, that is one side of Africa, the other side is better and lovely, nice people, great tourist destination, great weather and not forgetting culture and amazing lifestyle.
      Let the data findings influential you to know more about African people; Even pay a visit to learn how African are still happy and ok despite some of the challenges....

      Love, Mary
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    Mar 28 2013: Hey Thomas,

    Does it mean you visited Africa and want to go back?

    Love, Mary
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      Mar 29 2013: we moved up the page! :)

      I have been to parts and not nearly seen enough!!

      My friends are my biggest motivation (much love to Ed, Elisha, Ronald, Jemma, Marty, Lorelle and Jennal). They are dotted across the continent and I want to see the places that made them so great.
      However, since I was small I have had an underlying interest in Africa. I myself would like to know what it is and why I have it because I can't quite put my finger on it... hence the reason I started reading this thread/conversation. Alas! The interest is there, the love is strong and whatever it may be, I will hopefully find it when I return.

      Mary, perhaps you can share what you feel or think about when you hear "Africa"?

      love T
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        Apr 2 2013: Hey Thomas,

        Yes we moved up....lol...made you top again:) I made the mistake of NOT replying to you and started a new thread all together...I beg your pardon...and for late response too.....

        Big up to your friends.
        Thomas dear, I was born and raised in Central Kenya. I moved to US 4 years ago. And can I say Africa is great based on my experiences of both developed and developing countries? Definitely, YES. Africa has it own untainted glory that one can experience first hand.....irrespective of not so good infrastructure and 24/7 revolving economy, Africa has the love, care, happiness and contentment that most people are looking in the wrong places. When you visit Africa for the first time, you beliefs are challenged and you have two option; to see life as it is or not to.
        It is hard to understand how people could live with no in door water, bathroom and such luxuries and still be happy.....It is hard to explain....one has just to experience... Life is more than the tangible material accumulation. In fact intangible things such as love, communal caring and going with life flow are just stronger foundation.
  • Mar 28 2013: as an ambitious african american brutha from los angeles id always not only hoped to go to the motherland, but also find ways to reconnect with my african bruthas. as far as the media playing a role in how people perceive the identity of africa, i cant ignore the energy that "THE MAN WITH THE PLAN" create there own generic Picasso masterpiece by exploiting certain countries in africa. like you said mary, curruption is EVERYWHERE.. but when i think about it, i can only remmber king shaka, hotel rawanda, and many more things that people take for granted, such as the fact that there are very intellegent people who live in poverty. not to long ago i was watching this documentary about a boy from sierra leon that made his own radio transmitter with scrap. that action alone created a positive vibe thru out his whole village!. he was so smart that M.I.T, flew him out to give him an oppertunity to work with the "american elite" .. that was AWSOME!!.. as a rebel baby, i refuse to even think of the motherland as troubled. it history has crystallized it character. when i see such movies as "IN MY COUNTRY" (WITH SAM JACKSON) i learn of such spiritual movements as that. when i dream of africa i dont think of morroco, or tourist attractions. i think of people who live in areas where they are being oppressed just as the african american ive grown up around in south l.a. i belive its been the same systemused on our kind for generations to keep us from blossuming the way we could. malcom x knew it could be done, he tryed, they killed him. we tryed to create a black enterprise with quiency jones and the doode whoran soultrain. they came in and sucked us out. we had a renniacance in harlem, they systematicly broke that down. just like in africa the oppressed add more pain to an already going issue, such as selling drugs to our already broken black community. i kant wait till i can actually go to africa, as malcom x to reach out with those alike and wish for a more bonded black
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      Mar 28 2013: Hey Akili....again...by the way Akili means brain in swahili,

      I just love your approach and boi....that whiz kid aka Kelvin (Sierra Leon) is a nature of African. You can't imagine how creative and innovative Africans are. The issue is that Africans don't really believe in their own power and talents and their just bury them, or there isn't the incentive to act.
      Yes "rebel baby" don't even entertaining of motherland been troubled.....geez, I grew up in Kenya and yes I am wealthy, healthy and sane! Africa need to rise and stop looking for gold some far away country...while the gold is seated underneath our feet.

      I see you going to Africa sometime soon.

      Love, Mary
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    Mar 28 2013: black continent, safari, black people
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      Mar 28 2013: Hey Zilvinas
      I hope you are ok with me writing your name without the "flower" i.e. on Z...lol
      Yes definitely more black people than white.....and Yes 100% safari.......lol ..black continent...

      Make sure you do a safari...start with Kenya and I will be more than willing to furnish you with information.

      Love, Mary
  • Mar 28 2013: Wild animals,South Africa
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      Mar 29 2013: Hey Azure
      Thanks for commenting, Yes wild animals in varieties and in many part of Africa. South Africa is a home of many amazing wild animals. You should pay a visit and then after witnessing how South Africa is, you can venture into other African countries.

      Love, Mary
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    Mar 28 2013: It was how much I wanted to go. Now its how much I want to go back.
  • Comment deleted

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      Mar 28 2013: OMG, Carolyn...You should become a teacher and enlighten people especially kids about civilization, mathematics, medicine and such. It is so funny how most of us never know history of most amazing things.
      Yes most people don't know about this side of Africa just because most rely on media for information and stereotypes.
      And yes we can all live as one beautiful global family with enough resources and happiness by our side.

      Love, Mary
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    Mar 26 2013: Beautiful People!!
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      Mar 28 2013: Hey Juliette,

      I am surely welcoming your comment and your thoughts. Yes Africans are Beautiful People....

      You planning on visiting Africa sometime?

      Love, Mary
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        Mar 28 2013: My dear Mary,

        One of the things I love about my hometown is that we have genuine people here from everywhere. So I have been very lucky to have friends from many African countries right here since I was a little child. So they have been preparing me for the time when I will be fortunate enough to travel there.

        Right after my first response to your question I met even more beautiful people from Africa.

        Then I saw this:
        http://is.gd/05ynSK
        And this: http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_turere_a_peace_treaty_with_the_lions.html
        I hope to fly there on Richard's plane ;-)

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          Mar 28 2013: Oh Juliette,

          That is so lovely and impeccable...and yes your very lucky..(lol) having African as friends since your childhood.
          Great and how amazing you just met beautiful people from Africa.....
          And yes your dreams will come true.....Yes Richard's plane.........and surely I can introduce you to great people in Kenya once you ready to visit....

          Love, Mary
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        . .

        • +1
        Mar 29 2013: For Kate :-)❤ I was just thinking the same!! He is remarkable!! He saved the lions AND the cows!!
        For Mary :-)❤ Thank you. I look forward to it!! ..When I was little I ran away from spicy food....they ate it and made me spaghetti ...I felt the thoughtfulness and love.

        We are one family.
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          Mar 29 2013: Lol Juliette, couldn't agree more with Kate,

          Yes you need to save or better still do a "harambee"...fund raising...Africans are fond of this and I bet....200 African friends can fill your basket of cash.....lol....
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    Mar 26 2013: War, Aids and very low life expectancy average :(
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      Mar 28 2013: Hey Danijal,
      Thanks for commenting. Yes the life expectancy is low compared to other continent. However War and Aids is there but not as portrayed by media. Most Africans have a normal healthy life. However it is still a sad thing that people who are infected with Aids globally, huge percentage is African.
      Can you visit Africa?

      Love, Mary
  • Mar 26 2013: Poor, starving people, half of which are infected with AIDS, fighting and killing, rape, female circumcision, neck modification, and if I'm in an optimistic mood, pyramids. But then I remember all the drama in the North and malaria and I resolve that I probably will never visit them. O and the Nile being disgustingly polluted like the Ganges. Oh and the wildlife, lions, tigers, zebras, giraffes etc. And then of course poaching.
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      Mar 28 2013: Hey Michelle,
      Thanks for your honest answer.
      I am lost of words Michelle. I don't know how I can convince you that Africa is just like any other "normal" country. The media just show the negatives and the percentages shown can't be used to represent the whole; there is great side of Africa and great people too.
      There is malaria vaccine for tourist and even locals.......
      For instance in Kenya. I would approximate less than 1% of female undergoes female circumcision and some advocates such as Kakenya are fighting for women rights.
      What is neck modification?

      Love, Mary
      • Mar 28 2013: I realize I'm probably totally ignorant of what it really is like. I know how the media shapes my perceptions and how warped the perception can be as a result. But yeah, without direct experience I take myself with a grain of salt lol
        O http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neck_ring

        Didn't realize until I looked it up that it was an Asian practice too.
        I really would like to see the pyramids some day.

        I'm glad female circumcision is so low. It came up in discussion at a class I took in college and freaked me out.

        I know there are a lot of shots to take if touring Africa from acquaintances that have gone. Lots of prep I understand if you're to go there.
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          Mar 29 2013: Thanks Michelle.....lol...fir the neck modification thing...I did not know about it. The women look amazing though I can't imagine rings on my neck...but maybe...
          I am glad you recognition the major role of media in shaping our perception which can turn out to be far from reality.And yes, there is so much to gain and learn on a visit to Africa.....Hint/ Don't stress about what to expect and all that stuff...open mindedness is the way to enjoy the trip and surely to have a lifetime experience......Love, Mary
  • Mar 26 2013: Simplicity and Desire :)
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      Mar 26 2013: Hey Xing,

      Well put....simple life...I agree..

      Love Mary
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    Josh S

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    Mar 26 2013: Genecide, and lots of starving, and a whole lot of prostitutes with aids.
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      Mar 26 2013: Hey Josh,

      I appreciate your first thoughts and the transparency. I agree Africa has it problems and challenges, but also it good side.

      If you don't mind me asking, did the media play a role or what influenced you to think of Africa that way?

      Love,
      Mary
  • Mar 26 2013: A thin, black man wearing little clothing.
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      Mar 26 2013: Lynda,

      Lol......great one.... What about the women?

      Love Mary
  • Mar 25 2013: He is the voice behind the narration of the many African animal documentaries I watched as a child and even as an adult today.
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    Mar 25 2013: I think of wild animals roaming around. i have had the dream of visiting one day. but oh, where to start.
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    Mar 25 2013: Honestly.
    Mainly due to the availability heuristic and the amount I am subjugated to it (due to various media sources, and charity adverts) :
    Poverty and the wealth disparity (which needs to be solved). Though this thought upsets me, and I know it probably isn't true. While to confirm this, I would need more statical data.
    I hope you don't take offence from this! It is just my honest answer...
    While on further thought, I think of corruption and the dishonesty which (and I'm not sure whether this is true or not) plagues Africa, like in countries like Nigeria, which makes me think of the quote : "Evil flourished when Good men do nothing". I hope this answers your question.
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      Mar 26 2013: Hey Bernard,
      I love your honest answer. I also love the fact that you stated the influence of media and charity adverts. Corruption is rampant in Africa and yes Nigeria not forgetting Kenya.....but hey corruption is everywhere.

      I can truly say the media does African injustice by portraying the negatives mainly. There is more in Africa than poverty and ills.

      Love, Mary
  • Mar 25 2013: First thing? desert, wide but barren land
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    Mar 25 2013: "Rabindranath Tagore's poem "Africa" explores the negative impacts of Western imperialism on the traditional cultures of Africa. The destruction of these traditional cultures, and. with it, the inherent values of the people can be seen through the structure of three stanzas. A contrast is conveyed between the period before the coming of the Europeans, the time during colonization and the post-colonial period, clearly demonstrating the hypocrisy and horror of Western imperialism. Tagore, who lived in British colonial India, wrote the poem originally in Bengali and it was translated by William Radice into English sometime later. As a supporter of Indian nationalism Targore identified British imperialism as a "political symptom of our social disease". "Africa" was written in response to Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 and is a polemical poem influenced by tribal art and Tagore's interest in prehistoric cultures. Through the use of language in this poem, Tagore manages to represent the changes that Africa went through because of Western colonization."
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0OqK3_ScXw
    This is Tagore's own translation.
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      Mar 25 2013: Hey Pabitra,

      Wooah, I am learning so much about Africa and literature associated with my continent. Thanks for the poem. I will definitely check out the youtube link.....BTW...still liking your profile picture:

      Love,

      Mary
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    Mar 25 2013: I'm an old film fan, and when I read your question I immediately thought of Hatari, then Casablanca having recently watched both. Movies about a bunch of white people who are for whatever reason decided that Africa was the place to be. I also have friends from Camaroon, but I didn't think about them when I read your question for some reason (perhaps their accent is so French I sometime forget they are from Camaroon). I don't feel that's a probelm however, since I had a cousin who was at the US Embassy in Kenya in the 90's when it was attacked and so many died and also didn't think about that first either. Africa has a well deserved reputation for upheaval and for beauty, both in people and geographically speaking. So many simply scoff at Africa and claim its a lost cause, but I've never been able to see that point of view. The media doesn't help unless you watch "Inside Africa" on CNN or some arbritary wildlfe show on Animal Planet who unfortunately always (understandably) mix in poachers to give a complete story. I'd like to believe that Africa is neither a poverty stricken wasteland nor a wartorn hellscape, yet there is so much turmoil. Literally today CAR was overrun by rebel forces ousting the president to the DRC. Still, they say change is difficult but it's the only way to grow. Perhaps Africa will be bigger still tomorrow.
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      Mar 25 2013: Hey Hathaway,

      Hatari...Danger. I totally agree and hope the same "Perhaps Africa will be bigger still tomorrow". I hold the same views, that though Africa has its own challenges, it has more greatness and beauty in it. The media mostly focus on negative, but hey it is the media. Hope your cousin is well and healthy. By the way...I blushed reading the "beauty, both in people...." Yes I agree we are beautifully.....:). Thanks...and please visit Nairobi....

      Love,

      Mary
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    Mar 25 2013: Birth of man
    Wilbur Smith
    ......please don't crucify me. I do realize and know of that there is so much more..... you can find everything is Africa.
    Cheers
  • Mar 24 2013: nature and variety
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      Mar 25 2013: Hey Nadine,
      Can't agree more.

      Love,
      Mary
  • Mar 24 2013: Home...
    I don't fall into the parameters of your question(I live in South Africa) but I love my country and despite all its shortcomings it is a beautiful place and I think you should all come visit :P
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      Mar 25 2013: Hey Jonathan,

      SA.....hope to visit there some time...and see Capetown...(whale watching)....Big up Africa....

      Thanks for jumping in and spreading the love....

      Love,

      Mary
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    Mar 24 2013: Clay-colored dirt and Umbrella Thorns.
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      Mar 25 2013: Hey LA,

      What is/are Umbrella Thorns?
      Thanks

      Love, Mary
  • Mar 24 2013: Well, most people think of 'apartheid'. A Dutch word without an English translation.

    I think of lions and monkies. And hippos.
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      Mar 25 2013: Hey Ferk de Kroon,

      Yup, You won't be disappointed if you decide do a safari......I would recommend you start with Kenya......

      Love, Mary
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    Mar 24 2013: I want to be there....
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      Mar 25 2013: Hey adesh,

      Please put it in your bucket list, you won't regret.....

      Love, Mary
  • Mar 24 2013: The light!
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      Mar 25 2013: Hey Gigia,

      Please explain if you don't mind what you mean "The light"

      Thanks,
      Mary
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    Mar 24 2013: Kids with big bellies :(
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      Mar 25 2013: Hey Muhammad,

      If you don't mind me probing, why do you think of kids with big bellies?

      Thanks

      Love,
      Mama Africa
  • Mar 24 2013: First thing that comes to mind is "I wanna go there and my gf won't let me!" I got an offer to go to Tanzania this summer and she freaked out. :( And Tanzania isn't even where I want to go. :P

    Second thing: Africa is huge. Absolutely freaking ginormous. People assume that it is much, much smaller than it is because of the way the standard maps look, but the gap between Dodoma, Tanzania and Johannesburg, South Africa is 2090 miles--slightly less than twice the distance between New York and Miami. HUGE!

    Third thing: the Africa stereotypes are annoying. "Isn't it dangerous!?" Well... yeah. So is skiing. :P I've had people gawk at me because I asked "where in South Africa" and knew what they were talking about, even though I've only lived in the US. :(

    Fourth thing: I know which languages have clicks and I practice the clicks when I'm bored even though they're not the languages I actually want to *learn*. I tried learning isiNdebele and failed miserably. :P

    Now you've got me depressed again. I wish I had a big group of friends to go to Johannesburg with. I have no idea *why* South Africa fascinates me so much. I have 90% British heritage and could care less about seeing Europe.

    Um. Can you tell this is a flash point for me...?
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      Mar 25 2013: Hey DG,
      I would advise that you consult with you girlfriend and understand her underlying fears.
      Get some people who have been to the country you want to visit and get first hand information, that way your girlfriend will understand that it is safe and a nice place to visit.

      Don't get depressed, in fact been in Europe it is a simple task to identify people who have visited Africa.
      I have a female friend born and raised in England, feared to go to Kenya first time, when she went there she fell in love with it and now she operates a tourist business in Ngong, Kenya.....though she still live and work in England, she visit Kenya at least twice per year.
      • Mar 25 2013: :) Oh dear, now I feel like I lied accidentally. Oops. I look "British". I'm American, but my mom traced our family history line way back and all our ancestors are directly descended from British people. I'm the color of cooked chicken. I should include a pic on here, but that top hat's my universal logo across all my website accounts. I clicked your Facebook page link. (Same hat)

        Me and my gf both read a (thankfully now dead!) hypercritical blog about Africa a few years ago. What I got out of it: lots and lots of history lessons. What she got out of it: "Africa is where people get raped and get AIDS and die..." Her exact words about it were "I'm can't drive and get you when you get beat up in Tanzania!!" *sigh*

        Kenya's a bit out of my "familiarity" range. I'm aware of it, but most of what I know is centered around the South Africa/Botswana area, with some old history of the DRC. I only know Tanzania from a classmate and that one specific job. :(

        Good news though: I *just* got back from a different job prescreening that would let me go back and forth to all over Africa instead of just Tanzania, and for shorter durations (so she doesn't get as mad and I can go more places!) and I am bouncing off the walls hoping I can get hired. It's a sales job, so it shouldn't be *that* difficult. Cape Town here I come! (I hope I hope I hope. If I get the job...)

        Wish me luck!

        Having read more of this conversation thread, what country are you from, if you don't mind me asking? :D
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          Mar 26 2013: Hey DG,
          Thanks so much for clarifying that you are American...forgive my assumption and human error of reaching a conclusion without enough evidence.

          Thanks for following me on facebook. I am from Central Kenya. East Africa

          Sorry you read a blog that created fear and uncertainty. Africa is a great place and safe place to be. If someone fear going to Africa because of safety, I would somewhat equate it to someone who has never been to USA....but out of fear and uncertainty, the person decide never to visit USA because she/he might be shot. No place is 100% safe, you just need right information to increase safety.....the same way you don't want to find yourself in some bad area of town.....same should apply in Africa.

          Lastly, I wish you best of Luck in job search. The right job will surely be yours. I hope you get this job....( you seem that you would love to travel across Africa)

          Love, Mary
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          Mar 26 2013: Hey DG

          I am very sure to score 100%...Utah is a state. Within the state there is a city called Provo and university called BYU.
          BYU was one of my school option though I preferred Morgan State because of scholarship, in the process I learnt UTAH is a state.
          Big up Utah.......
          I hope my chit chat and history of UTAH will earn me some extra points...Professor DG?

          Mary
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    Mar 24 2013: First thing come in my mind is: the torture, poverty, suffering, Injustice ..
    • Mar 24 2013: none of them were created by Africans themselves ...
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        Mar 24 2013: Really ...... ????
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        Mar 25 2013: As always there is no one person or event that can be held as the sole cause. This is where bleeding hearts and curruption meet and assess blame ... (and where fights ensue). For centuries there has been tribal warfare, raids for wives and slaves by neighboring tribes, and the exporting of humans to other countries ... tribes gathered them and whites shipped them. Tribal areas still exist.

        Many countries saw the wealth and resources in Africa from trade routes to minerals and resources and exploited the people and raped the ground. Natives who had never been more than a few miles from their village did not understand the value of what others wanted on a international scale.

        Even today deals are being brokered with countries within Africa that only a few are benefiting from. As bad as the curruption is the power struggles are even worse. The value of life and the respect of the person means nothing to these power brokers and militants.

        We complain that China pays their workers only dollars a day while China sublets the labor to Africa for cents a day.

        The question, "Did Africa dig their own hole?" still looms. No ... not entirely ... however they have done little to correct the situation. Today education is gaining a foothold in the metro areas and some of the centruy old cultural taboos are being dismissed in the rural areas. This is a very slow process. Success takes one step forward and often two steps back.

        As is often the case the educated people leave the farm and go to town ... we need more of the educated to stay at home and become part of the solution.

        There are those who say military is the answer and others say if we convered them to (name a religion) then all of their problems would be solved. Both are wrong. The answer will come from the people over time.

        Mary ... I am often very blunt. However, I do try to be honest and not blow a lot of smoke on you.

        Thanks for the reply. Bob.
        • Mar 25 2013: Hi Robert

          with all respect from your profile picture I can't say whether you are white or black person. I believe it is your beloved pet and you wished to share here on TED. to me when people choose different picture before their own, they have something to hide, (hiding behind the mask and expressing thoughts)

          "As always there is no one person or event that can be held as the sole cause."
          who went there and intent to teach them how to drink tea, Robert?
          who went there to seek diamonds and gold, Robert?

          "For centuries there has been tribal warfare, raids for wives and slaves by neighboring tribes, and the exporting of humans to other countries ... tribes gathered them and whites shipped them" - the whites were shipping them to another continent? WOW, this must be the greatest achievement of white-kind.
          who taught them TRADE, Robert?
          who had invented money (coin then) ? perhaps Romans,(the white man) and perhaps they were first corrupted nation on Earth, spreading the idea of corruption.

          yes tribes fought , not for gold and diamonds or land, not for and against corruption. but food and women.

          Africa is RICH, the wealth of Africa is everywhere, its inhabitants do not need to look somewhere else wealth, they were happy with what they had.
          but in certain continents where white lives, the invented a words Desire for they would use that instead of Greed. That so called: "desire" of having more than we need makes as to ruin others to enrich ourselves. then sit back and say: "poor people cant make a living! let's give some cents back and tell them we are helping them." same happen in Latin America, in India, far East.
          Not an African came to invade Europe or any other continent, because they were rich and happy where they were, they were no violent people, we taught them how to be.

          sometimes I am ashamed being white. and I believe it is every white ones duty to admit their inhuman deeds.

          WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SITUATION OF AFRICA.

          have courage to admit!
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          Mar 26 2013: Edwin

          "Not an African came to invade Europe or any other continent, because they were rich and happy where they were, they were no violent people, we taught them how to be."

          Au contraire the number of white slaves taken by Africans dwarfs what America took from Africa:

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/white_slaves_01.shtml

          Get over yourself, when you claim someone is a victim you certainly are not doing them a favor in fact is a huge insult.

          If you understand this no explanation is necessary, if you do not then no explanation is possible.
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          Mar 26 2013: Hey Robert,

          I see where you are coming from. Yes Africans issues were somewhat caused by outside, however African played a big role in betraying their fellow African. The biggest challenge African are facing now is to do away with victim mentality and recoup their power. African have robbed themselves the power and responsibility by constantly blaming western countries.
          Yes, African were oppressed, Yes Africans faced injustice....but those days are long gone if only African can think for themselves.
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        Mar 26 2013: Edwin, I admit no such thing. However, pointing out that someone arrived with the intent to make them drink tea is cruel ... I may have trouble sleeping knowing that. But all will be well knowing that I can hide behind my cat photo ... a well thought out ploy to avoid responsibility. LOL.

        My race should not be an issue. In fairness we should judge the man. What if I said that all redheads love to fight ... only blonds can have fun ... all kids named Edwin have bow legs .... etc ... those are glaring generalities that hold no truth. That whites are solely to blame for all the ills of the world is so simplistic that I have a hard time thinking that anyone would believe it in a modern educated world.

        I have re-read my statement above and do not see where I have laid blame ... I have however, stated some cause and effect and hopefully a direction for the future.

        Edwin I dismiss your emotional argument. I refer to my second sentence above ... " bleeding hearts and corruption meet to assess blame." You have assessed blame, in my opinion, as a bleeding heart.

        Howerver much we disagree ... I still wish you well. Bob.
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          Mar 26 2013: Edwin and Bob,

          I love when people express their emotions, fear and opinion. It is such a liberating experience to express what you truly feel. Sometimes we agree to disagree. The best discussion is where there is no winner nor loser but both party enrich their lives and expression and maybe learn a thing or two

          Love, Mama Africa
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      Mar 25 2013: @Mohammedridha,

      Torture, poverty, suffering, injustice...yes all this things exist in one way or another.Just like another continent. I bet what matters is the magnitude and focus.

      Hope the second thing that come in your mind is something positive......
      Can you visit Africa or you find it not safe to visit?
      Thanks

      Love,

      Mary
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        Mar 25 2013: Mary,
        of course there's such a good things.. I do think positive but I believe your question about Africa, this is my point of view of Africa, I might wrong I never been there..
        Yes I can visit Africa and I see it will be fine for me to visit Africa.
        • Mar 25 2013: Positive thinker never express negative thoughts. they know the power of thoughts.
          and negative words are out of their lexicon.

          cheers
          Edwin
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          Mar 26 2013: Hey Mohammedridha and Edwin,

          M.A, You so welcome to Africa, and please start with Kenya:) whenever you get the chance. I love that you find the continent safe and interesting.

          E.N....Can't agree more on the power of thoughts....." Be careful what you think, you might get it".
  • Mar 24 2013: The *First* thing that comes to mind is a zebra or gazelle covered savannah with Mt Kilimanjaro in the background.

    As a child I was raised on Tarzan movies [and the TV series] so while I *Know* that is not what ALL of Africa looks like, I hope I can be forgiven whatever stereotype *First* pops into my head when hearing the name of the continent.

    It is a place that I would love to explore, from Egypt, through the Gold Coast, and to the Horn.
  • Mar 23 2013: Sir. David Attenborough :)
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      Mar 25 2013: Hey Andrew,

      Please enlighten me about this great man. If you don't mind you can explain in few words why you associate him with Africa...

      Love,
      Mama Africa
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      Mar 26 2013: Hey Andrew

      Thanks for the updates. I will check out his work and familiarize myself with him.

      Love, Mary
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    Mar 23 2013: Toto
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      Mar 25 2013: Hey Obey,

      Love your Profile Pic...

      What is Toto?
      Thanks

      Love, Mary
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        Mar 25 2013: Thanks Mary. It is meant to be a self portrait. Not the epitome of realism, but it captured the essence of what I felt that day.

        Toto are a band who sung one of my favourite songs of all time - "Africa"

        "It's gonna take a lot to take me away from you
        There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
        I bless the rains down in Africa
        Gonna take some time to do the things we never have"

        Second thing that comes to mind is the birthplace of humanity, where our ancestors evolved before spreading around and exploring the globe, which continued up until New Zealnd was settled 1,000 years ago or the the 1800's when Antarctica was discovered
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          Mar 26 2013: Hey Obey,

          Woaah that some deep lyrics there. I see why the first thought to cross your mind is Toto.

          Thanks for taking the time to post the lyrics...

          Love, Mary
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    Mar 23 2013: Mary, Welcome to TED. The impressions of Africa may very well be dependent upon age and influences. I am now 70 .. my introduction was through National Gepgraphic. They had two stories ... one was photos of naked women in front of a hut and the other wild animals. Later in movies .. we had warrior tribes and friendly tribes. Everyone wore skins and carried spears ... these movies carried the promise of lots of blood. Then we had the romance era where it was a woman who was always in danger and the guide came to the rescue ... in the nick of time ... the movie always ended with them riding off into the sunset ... and in love.

    I think that Edwards reply is accurate of the well read and somewhat educated person of today. About ten or more years ago the image took a severe hit when Idi Amin was in the daily news and reports of his reign of terror and possible cannilbalism.

    I would think that if you went out on the street of any large city and ask ten people you would get ten different answers. I think it would be interesting to do the interview using the exact same criteria ... i.e. two white, two black, two oriential, two asian, two hispanic and one interviewer being black and one being white on different streets ... then compare the answers. The interviewers could not talk ... only hand them a card with the question on it and the explaination the the interviewer cannot not comment.

    I wish you well. Bob.
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      Mar 23 2013: Hey Bob,
      Thanks for the warm welcome, I can virtually sense the warmth. I agree with your view and that of Edward. You have made me want to watch earlier movies...I will look for them...can you recommend any?

      I will take the challenge and ask people out there...and see what their views are.....quiet an interesting way of gathering views.
      Congratulation for "strong 70" and counting.....
  • Mar 23 2013: "The Dark Continent"

    As a small child I associated Africa with Tarzan.
    Lots of jungles and lots and lots of animals wondering freely around.

    Having grown up and having friends from Nigeria and having read books by South African authors and listened to wonderful TED talks from different countries in Africa I now see it as another place where humans like me live and suffer and laugh and cry, and struggle with the same issues we all do.
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      Mar 23 2013: Hey Mary,
      Wooah, I know the movie Tarzan....very interesting and exotic.
      Yes I agree with you, Africa is like another country.....
      It is a contrast that it is called "The Dark Continent", while most of the times it is sunny and bright.....
      I remember my grandma telling me Nairobi the capital of Kenya used to be called "City in the Sun"

      Love

      Namesake
  • Mar 22 2013: Hi Mary
    Sorry to say but I will never get to Africa nor any other country for that matter-Health issues.
    If I did you can bet the cheetahs would be the first thing I'd want to see. Never been too much of a fan of monkeys-too human like for me. The gorillas are another matter- love them. The elephants are wonderful & I shutter every time one gets killed for their ivory. The Cleveland zoo is famous for helping wildlife-glad you got there.
    Hope you enjoy TED and welcome aboard.
    XOXO
    Gale
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      Mar 23 2013: Hey Gale,
      It is okey that you will most likely never visit. It is a part of life and challenges we have to overcome now and then. Some challenges are there to stay and it is a matter of accepting and enjoying life irrespective.
      Yes monkeys grabbing my banana at a national park while I was 10 years did not leave a good impression. I see them as competing with me. There also mimic someone.
      I mostly admire the big 5....
      And yes, I enjoyed Cleveland zoo.
      Thanks for warm welcome at TED.

      Yours
      Mary

      Love and Warmth
    • Mar 24 2013: Africa is a continent, not a country !!!
      • Mar 24 2013: Your very right Daniel and I stand corrected.
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          Mar 25 2013: Hey Daniel and Gale,

          Amazing contribution and clarification.....

          Love,

          Mama Africa
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    Mar 22 2013: Southern Africa, political and civil strife. Central Africa, blight and severe changing climate conditions effecting the peoples. Northern Africa, forced religious conversion.

    It's off the top of my head Mary without going to any news sites and is wrong by a thousand leagues but i wanted to touch on the images that sprang to mind rather than what is the reality of the now. Is this what you want or looking for in a response about the parent continent?
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      Mar 23 2013: Hey Ken,

      Yes you got it right. I meant the first thoughts that comes into your mind without researching. Hehehe...I share same view about Northern Africa, and the way I am deviating from particular religion to embracing humanity....lol....trust me, this view does not settle well with me....

      Love,
      Mary
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    Mar 22 2013: That so sweet Fritzie. I bet your brother in law had a fulfilling and exciting job. I would love to know when you plan for the trip...

    Love,
    Mary.....
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    Mar 22 2013: Hey Nathan ( King of the Jungle),

    That so great...and yes I see the picture of a roaring lion (imagination).
    By the way I enjoy the different music genre in Africa. For instance in Kenya, I can't understand most of words...i.e. music sang in different dialect other than mine, but surely I enjoy the instrument, rhythms and such.

    What is kalimba?

    Thanks
    Love, Mary
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    Mar 21 2013: Welcome Mary!
    I just finished reading "A Labyrinth of Kingdoms", "10,000 miles through Islamic Africa"
    by Steve Kemper, so that is the first thing that comes to mind at the moment.

    It is based on the journals and memoirs of Dr. Heinrich Barth, which he wrote while traveling for 5 years (1850-1855) through Africa. My perception of Africa is colored by that adventure at the moment. It seems like there were a lot of tribal wars, discontent and constant unrest. He also met many wise and insightful people, skilled, talented and creative artists, craftsmen and women with whom he connected.

    More recently than the 1800s, I spent time in Egypt, and enjoyed the people and experience very much. In addition to the well known sites, I enjoyed meeting the local people on the roads less traveled, while riding camels and donkeys:>)

    I think about the wildlife, some of which is endangered, and the beautiful wide open spaces. I think about the numbers of people who do not have the basics, like clean drinking water, food and shelter.
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      Mar 22 2013: Thanks Colleen for the warm welcome. You are passionate about reading and learning...that my biased judgement based on your comments. I am glad you enjoyed Egypt. I am planning to visit the pyramid very soon, before they become squares or circles...kidding on shape change.
      Colleen I share your sentiments about people who do not have the basics; sometimes I feel guilty seeing neighbors in my country side struggling for the basic and I wonder, is there something holistic that I and others can do to ensure basic necessity for all?
      Then the other reality of beautiful scenery, animals, landscape, and sure keep on the hope burning that after all Africa is a great place to be....not forgetting great people......
  • Mar 21 2013: A laborious mom with a group of hungry skinny children,
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      Mar 22 2013: Hey edulover,

      Woooah, that is not a best first impression. I bet it make one question the sanity of the world. Yes women work hard with meager earning. I hope all this will change as Africa embrace development, human rights, women and children rights and more so caring for each other. I dream of a " well feed world".

      XoXo

      Love Mary
  • Mar 21 2013: I have never been there physically but sure have seen a lot of it through TV shows, National Geographic, etc. My focus is, and always has been, on the wildlife-no matter the country. To me, Africa is the main source of wildlife. I love it.
    As for the strife, that all countries have in one form or another, I know of it but not centered on it.
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      Mar 22 2013: H Gale,
      Well said about the strife. Yes Africa is the mother of wildlife. It remind me of Cleveland zoo late last year when they had an event promoting and urging people to visit and see "African Elephant". I could never have been more proud been associated with African Elephant. I went to safari twice in Kenya, though I am Kenyan, it is always a wonderful experience to explore nature, animals and other beautiful scenery.

      I bet it would be wonderful experience to do a Safari based on your interest and love of wildlife......make sure your carry exotic biscuit to feed the monkeys....lol (they love chocolate too), however if you are caught by the warden don't say I recommended....lol. or if the warden does not catch you, monkeys can gang against your for feeding them "fattening food" they too know about modelling and maintaining healthy diet and size zero......
      Xoxo

      Love, Mary
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    Mar 21 2013: Political turmoil. Warlords. Poverty. Genocide. Carpetbaggers. Exploitation from within and without. Astonishing natural wealth. Extraordinary God-given abilities in Art, Music, and Athletics. Limitless potential.
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      Mar 22 2013: Dear Edward,

      I totally agree with your summation of what Africa is......I just hope that African will become aware of our limitless potential and get enlightened. As for Athletics...I can virtually learning 300 miles /second ( I am Kenyan...lol)...

      What is Carpetbaggers?

      Love,
      Mary
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        Mar 22 2013: Hello Mary- "Carpetbaggers" (a plural term) is a contemptuous term describing persons who journey to an area which is in turmoil in quest of easy money, or power. They travel without much luggage so they can disappear quickly if need be, thus the term carpetbag. They are opportunists and exploiters who use questionable ethical methods to get what they want. They have no true desire to bring improvement. You are correct that the African people suffer because they are unaware of how life can be improved with cooperation, education and good, hard work. I tried to avoid stereotyping the African people, I hope you are not offended by my observations. Welcome to TED Conversations and thank you for a relevant question.
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          Mar 23 2013: Thanks for warm welcome. Wish we had virtual coffee we share.
          Oh ...Great insight Edward. If now I think one of my brothers is trying to exhort cash from me..i.e hiking school fees, I will use the big word.."Carpetbaggers" and I bet it will work. Jokes aside, I am grateful for a clear, concise explanation.
          To answer your concern; I am not offended at all. I am open minded person and I appreciate your observations, in fact in my experience there is to much truth to what you have said.

          Love,
          Mary
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    Mar 21 2013: G'day Mary

    Brutal wars probably endorsed by some developed country.

    Love
    Mathew
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      Mar 22 2013: Good day Mathew, wooooah, probably some truth in your observation. Also I would say community involved in wars are partially or even fully responsible. The thing I have observed In Kenya for instance during Kenya Post Election 2007 war is that community feel out of control or not responsible, they blame someone or something. Then came the recent election (2013) and people were compelled to act responsible and accountable because of "said" punishment i.e. inciting or even attempting to would land one to Hague. If only African had a definitive process that entitle people to accountability. I bet we have a long way to go, though it is encouraging we are moving in the right direction.
  • Mar 21 2013: I'm from central Europe, only have been to Maroco once when I was about 8 years old.

    The first thing that pops up is a yellow dusted plain, with very little to non vegetation, a broken down street and a couple of brown mountains in the background beneath a blue sky.

    The sad thing is, I know that Africa is something else, I know there is so much more variety, but this biased picture remains and seems to be deeply imprinted on my mind.
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      Mar 22 2013: Hello Anton,
      It is glad you visited "Morocco" ( I am assuming that what meant). You should NOT be sad about been biased . Your view is one truth about majority part of the continent. For instance, consider me, a girl country who never dared buy white shoes in the land of central Kenya which is covered with red soil and when it rains it is red "snow" i.e. mud. Comparing Africa streets and Europe streets, yes Africa need a long awaited upgrade.
      Mountains are there...Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya and such....yes blue sky is the order of the day.

      Continue to add more to your knowledge about Africa and maybe plan a tour to one of the African countries. I love Kenya coz am Kenyan and if you don't mind a village family hosting you, My mother would welcome you....lol.
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    Mar 20 2013: I am sure as a child my first thought would have been of animals on the savannah.

    In my daily life now, I see lots of artifacts from Africa, so I would think of wooden carvings, masks, cloths, and costumes next- before any of the modern stuff.
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      Mar 22 2013: Hey Fritzie,
      That so great and uplifting. At least as a child, you could have had a positive image of Africa. As for you present situation seeing a lot of artifacts is a great representation of talented Africans.

      Hope you pay a visit someday. For my biased advice, I would say you start with Kenya....lol

      Love,
      Mary
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        Mar 22 2013: We will. My husband's family lived for several years in Nairobi. His brother worked in villages in Cameroon.
  • Comment deleted

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      Mar 22 2013: Thanks Kate for warm welcome. I am pleased to be part of this inspiring community. I am originally from Kenya and I conquered with your point that every continent has it good and bad points. Yes there is conflicts, aids, famine and such. Also there is wild life ( you should go for safari...lol), and other great places, mountains, amazing people and a sense of community belonging, did I forgot most people are willing to help you even as a stranger.
      From experience, I would say that Africa is largely associated with bad, which is a bias. It is just like watching Hollywood in TV and assuming that all of Africa is like Hollywood. There is more good than bad.
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          Mar 23 2013: Hey Kate, I read this post immediately you posted it, and yes my eyes were eager to shed some tears....(the stream of tears did not ask for permission or even alert me). Had to take a break and reflect on good memories.
          I really miss Kenya, the village life, great people and all that, though I have made a choice of staying in US with occasion visits to motherland. ...

          And yes the internet is a great way, and I am on the look out for ways to get fellow villagers connected to the global world....
          I miss the calmness of trees surrounding my parents house, I miss the swing...i.e. rope tied on a mango tree, and yes speaking in mother tongue 24/7...lol
          Your are truly a global soul who can pick emotions.

          Love,
          Mary
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          Mar 25 2013: Thanks Kate for letting me know your little secret...digital hug.....

          It is such a great new topic and I will be willing to contribute....all sweet home...