Have you ever driven past a bakery and smelled the wonderful smells of fresh bread baking? Did it bring back memories? If so, you’ll know what I mean when I tell you that when I get off the plane in Africa and smell the air, I feel like I’m home. It doesn’t smell like fresh bread, it’s sort of like the smell of a wood burning stove. It’s the smell of excitement, and adventure. It’s the smell of great memories of my life here in Africa in the 1990’s.
On one trip over, there was a choir on the plane with me. All the members of the choir were sitting in one section of the plane and as we landed and the sun was coming up, they sang the Lord’s Prayer. It was the most beautiful rendition of that song that I had ever heard. Each time my plane lands in Africa in the early morning, I hear that song again in my mind as they sang it that day and I thank God for the gift of all my African experiences and my African friends. This is the place where I feel special, really alive, and as though my life really matters.
Unlike many of the places where I speak in America where people complain that they have to attend a training program, here people come to a seminar excited and wanting to learn; feeling it a privilege to attend, and knowing that their companies are investing in their educations. They don’t complain about the food. In fact, they are thrilled and amazed that they are furnished lunch. Their main focus is the education. It reminds me once again of how spoiled we Americans are and how we have come to expect so many things. We certainly can’t be blamed for it as we have grown up with it. However, if we were to take more of an interest in the rest of the world, I believe we would be much more grateful and appreciative of what we have.
When I think of how many times I’ve heard people complain that the convention room in the hotel is too hot or too cold, it reminds me of the training program I did here in an open barn with the wind blowing through, the attendees sitting on bails of hay, and the electrical extension cords plugged one into another into another into another and strung across an open land area in order to have the use of an overhead projector. The screen was made of taped together pieces of paper on which newspapers are printed. We didn’t have coffee and sweet rolls or a box lunch. We had “pap with tomato and onion gravy”, which by the way is the food most Africans eat every day. It is made from maize (a type of corn) and ground into a powder sort of like our corn meal and then water is added and it is boiled until it gets thick like pudding. Be assured, it doesn’t taste like pudding. You use your fingers to mold it into a ball and then you dip it into the gravy and eat it. (I have come to love it!) No one complained that this was the same old food that they eat every day at home. It was a magical day!
This trip I am doing a program for Recreation Africa at Misty Hills, the ultimate African experience, and a television show with Billy Selekane, Africa’s top motivational speaker about “Inspiring the World.”
Wish you were here!
Judi Moreo is an author, speaker, and professional mentor. To inquire about Judi’s services or products, call Turning Point International (702) 283-4567.