Traveling Through Africa


20140418-063009.jpg

Hello readers I know it’s been a while and I owe you quite a few post about several trips including India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Phuket and teaching. Please don’t be mad.

Well, Matthew and I packed up and left Thailand yesterday (shipped most of our stuff home) and arrived in Cairo, Egypt last night. We are on a journey traveling through Africa to make it back to the USA. I’m going to do my best to bring you along on this journey as it takes place. So please accept the ruff unedited version of what I’m writing, I’ll clean it up later. We will also be going to Ethiopia, Ghana and Morocco.

So it is 6:30 am in Cairo, Egypt and I’m couchsurfing at a very cool guy’s house Hassan Soloman. Yes, we are staying at someone’s home whom we’ve only spoken to via the internet (please feel free to comment below with questions about couchsurfing). He works on documentary films. And that pic up there is a picture from his balcony at sunset of the Nile and the Great Pyramids. This morning we’re heading there so let me give you a morning view of them then get dressed and ready. TTYL 🙂

20140418-063954.jpg

It’s super hazy this morning so you’ll just have to look at the Nile,the little island that’s on it and the city beyond. Maybe I’ll post the Sphinx later ;-).

Where are your ancestors from?


I went to an Internations http://www.internations.org event last night, which is a great cocktail party where expats from various countries and Peruvians who have lived abroad (there are actually events around the world). It takes place once a month on a Friday. I happened to arrive before Matthew, so I got the occasional guy that would come up to me to see if I was single or not. I saw this one guy staring at me from across the room and about 5 minutes later the following conversation began:

European guy: But what county is your family from?

Me: I’m African-American – so some country in Africa

European guy: But which country?

Me: (really) So, they brought African’s over in ships and they didn’t keep records of where people were from. (Stank face)

European guy: I’m not trying to be I just, I lived in Africa for a while and you look like you are from Angola.

Me: Where are you from?

European guy: Portugal

Me: #WhyAmIHavingThisConversation – oh really I actually have Portuguese ancestors as well.

European guy: Oh so we’re brothers (the direct Spanish translation of siblings is brothers)

This conversation continued for another 5 minutes are so and my thoughts were “why is he acting like he didn’t know about slavery. He’s from Portugal-your Portuguese ancestors were the ones who started the slave trade to the Americas- #BRAZIL hello”

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade began around the mid-fifteenth century when Portuguese interests in Africa moved away from the fabled deposits of gold to a much more readily available commodity — slaves. By the seventeenth century the trade was in full swing, reaching a peak towards the end of the eighteenth century. It was a trade which was especially fruitful, since every stage of the journey could be profitable for merchants — the infamous triangular trade.

Who Started the Triangular Trade?

For two hundred years, 1440-1640, Portugal had a monopoly on the export of slaves from Africa. It is notable that they were also the last European country to abolish the institution – although, like France, it still continued to work former slaves as contract laborers, which they called libertos or engagĂ©s Ă  temps. It is estimated that during the 4 1/2 centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Portugal was responsible for transporting over 4.5 million Africans (roughly 40% of the total).

via  http://africanhistory.about.com/od/slavery/tp/TransAtlantic001.htm

I was wondering what your thoughts are about this. Please leave a comment about the conversation and how you would have responded.

Also please send out a quick PSA to your European friends about the African slave trade to the Americas. Thank you. FYI this is the second time I’ve had a conversation like this at an Internations event.

*** I have met really great people at the Internations Events and will continue to go =)