Discovering African Hospitality

On our way to a safari, we’ve discovered something wonderful about Africa seldom tauted: The graciousness of its people.
While excited about seeing the African wildlife in its natural habitat, we also have discovered a respectful and warm culture of friendly people.
I’ve already written about traveling with my parents on this trip. My father is not very mobile and walks with a cane. However, it quickly became apparent that the elderly here are not ignored and pushed to
the background as often is the case in America. The Northern European and American culture strongly promotes independence which makes the reverence of the elderly difficult from all sides – whether young or old.
In the African culture, like many others, the elderly readily accepts help from even strangers and offers thanks and some wisdom in return.
At the Addis Ababa Airport in Ethiopia, a young worker followed my father around during a two-hour layover assisting him along the way.
He also made an effort to interact with my 13-year-old niece. When my mother tried to tip him, he repeatedly refused the money saying that it was his pleasure, gesturing his hand over his heart. My parents were overwhelmed with gratitude as he said goodbye at the foot of the ramp to the airplane.
At each safari resort since we arrived in Tanzania, we’ve all been treated with warm hospitality. The smiles here are genuine. Yes, we are in resorts for foreigners. Yes, I’m sure there are those who would gladly take advantage of us as
would be the case in most places. Perhaps, I’m just a naive fool but seeing the good of the people here has been one of many highpoints on this memorable adventure so far.