Vacation Reflections



Vacation Reflections - August 17, 2002

In May I spent a week in the Canary Islands with my friend Dorothy.  We had a wonderful time, catching up on four years' of changes in a place that can only be described as paradise.  It was the first time I had been out of Cote d'Ivoire and out of Africa in eleven months. Of course, that came with some insights...

Such a treat to eat foods I hadn't eaten in nearly a year - good hearty wheat bread, granola, a variety of cheeses, Oreos.  The boubous and dresses that I get compliments on in Cote d'Ivoire are definitely not in fashion in a lovely European resort.  Oops!  I had forgotten how out of fashion I was!  Western societies have taxis with meters that work, busses that run on schedule, restaurants with fabulous customer service, public restrooms (with toilet paper!), and change - no matter what size bill you give.

What a luxury to be in a place where white skin did not stand out, identify me as a stranger, or identify me as "rich."  I was surprised at the level of relaxation I could achieve simply because I blended in.  I could observe, rather than being observed.  Thanks to Dorothy, for planning a most wonderful vacation.  Looking forward to doing the same thing next year!