"They don't like us."

Over the years I've heard this phrase many times, mostly from those who feel as though Africans harbor hostility towards Black Americans. It has been quite some time since I heard this and I had actually forgotten about it, mainly due to the fact that throughout my many travels to various African countries over more than a decade's span I have NEVER experienced anything that would make me feel this way. I was reminded of this notion by the students while we were in Tanzania, as they personally knew of individuals who still feel this way.

I despise most any stereotype, especially when they extend to an entire race of people, but this one is just quite silly to me. Perhaps there are a few out there who feel this way, but to this date I have not met these individuals and if anything, I feel as though I'm treated even better when people find out I'm from the U.S. (in every single African country that I've visited thus far, they have told me that I look  as though I'm from there, I have to speak for them to know that I'm from the U.S.).

I'm referred to as sister (dada in Swahili), I'm welcomed "Home," the joy on people's faces when they find out that I came thousands of miles to visit Their beautiful country and learn about Their culture is unmatched. Maybe they don't like us, judging by my experiences, they Love "us"!

I'm so far removed from the notion that "they don't like us" that I cannot fully express in words this is one of the (MANY) reasons why I believe in first-hand experience, you have to be there to understand. Since I cannot fully express this in words, I thought these pictures might be a good start!

Please share your experiences (positive and negative) in the comment box below the pictures. We'd love to hear from you!

 We were walking back to our lodge after visiting an orphanage and were greeted by these women who were coming from a New Year's celebration at church. Their welcome (in Swahili and English) was so warm and inviting that we had to capture the moment in pictures.   

We were walking back to our lodge after visiting an orphanage and were greeted by these women who were coming from a New Year's celebration at church. Their welcome (in Swahili and English) was so warm and inviting that we had to capture the moment in pictures.   

 The elder of the group kept her hands extended the entire time we met with them. She did not speak English, but we knew from her body language alone that she was elated to meet us. 

The elder of the group kept her hands extended the entire time we met with them. She did not speak English, but we knew from her body language alone that she was elated to meet us. 

 When she was not extending her hands out towards us, she was grabbing our hands to ensure that we knew how welcome we were. She's pictured here with U.S. student Miranda

When she was not extending her hands out towards us, she was grabbing our hands to ensure that we knew how welcome we were. She's pictured here with U.S. student Miranda

 U.S. student Sha'von being welcomed during our visit to a local Maasai village. 

U.S. student Sha'von being welcomed during our visit to a local Maasai village. 

 Tanzania 2016 - My Tanzanian dada (sister), kaka (brother) and I. They were extremely helpful and accommodating during our entire stay in Arusha. 

Tanzania 2016 - My Tanzanian dada (sister), kaka (brother) and I. They were extremely helpful and accommodating during our entire stay in Arusha. 

The pictures cannot fully tell the story, join us next time!

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