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I Studied Abroad in Africa!

I don’t really need to say much except that this girl’s blog, I Studied Abroad in Africa, is HILARIOUS!!!

Her intro reads:

So.

You go to one of those fabulously elitist schools where everyone talks about privilege, classism, racism, sexism, etc. as if they don’t practice it in real life. But in order to really see the world, they decide to go somewhere where they can understand what their privilege looks like. So they choose AFRICA! Yay! A whole continent dedicated to helping white people understand what it means to be poor and undeveloped.

This is for all you fabulous biddies who decided that Africa was the right place for you. There’s nothing like good ‘ole exotification to fill up your time while basking in the hot Saharan sun, wearing your “traditional” African clothes, eating “weird” foods and taking as many photos of black children as possible. You go, Gurl with lots of privilege! This is dedicated to you.

It’s pretty sarcastic at times, but it definitely makes you rethink your travel ventures. There are so many issues that surround travel, especially within the continent of Africa. As young people, our desire to travel, to see, drives us to all corners of the world, but what are we doing once we’ve seen? What’s our responsibility as global citizens? Do we just take exotic pictures that emphasize the “otherness” of the place we’re visiting? –The tourist photos in front of monuments and animals you’ve never encountered; photos of poverty; photos of us in front of those monuments and with impoverished people; and photos of us wearing, doing, or eating something of the “others.”

Many people travel, myself included, knowing little to nothing of that destination’s history and current politics. Americans, especially are coming from a very egocentric nation: we know very little about the intricacies and details of other countries, which in a way allows us to, consciously or otherwise, view their issues irrelevant. That is, unless it messes with our money. We pay so much attention to the latest episodes of reality TV, who got arrested, who was hot and who was not, the drama between celebrities, and the product announcements by Apple and other technology companies. Up until recently, I couldn’t tell you too much about the many political situations in the different countries, I still can’t, but before I wasn’t much thinking about them. Funny enough, I would consider myself to be one of the less numb and oblivious young people in the US, but still there’s so much that I don’t know and haven’t thought about.

Well anyway, just something to think about and laugh about while you’re at it.

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