Sunday, April 8, 2012

Africa...Again (Part One)

In a past blog, I have expressed my dream to travel to Africa. This dream still exists and it is now more prominent than ever because recently my dad took another trip to Africa. On a previous trip, he traveled to Mali and on this trip, he went to Niger. Niger is located right next to Mali, and is semi-near the countries that are having a multitude of government issues. I was even more worried about my dad on this trip because I knew that Niger was in the top ten of poorest countries in the world.

Niger is a landlocked country in the center of Africa; it is eighty percent covered by the Sahara Desert. Because most of the country is desert, water and crops are scarce, making it very hard to survive. Niger has had many political issues in past years and were finally starting to get back on their feet again when riots and anti government rallies started taking place in bordering countries. Because Niger was one of the only countries in East and West Africa without issues, many people immigrated to Niger. When this occurred, many people were left without food and water, leading many people to die and get struck by diseases. If they don’t get help soon there are about ten million people who are at risk of starving to death. There are not enough resources to help everyone survive; they had trouble before the immigration issues, and now they are having even more problems.

I was aware of these situations when my dad left, but I was not aware of how bad it truly was. I probably did too much research on it and I completely freaked myself out. My dad freaked me out the most by saying that it probably wasn’t going to be safe to leave his hotel and that Americans were not always welcomed with opened arms. I was worried about not talking to him or having him keep me updated on what he was doing and how he was doing. Fortunately, he was able to send me text messages in order to keep me updated on his safety. He made it home safely and had unbelievable stories to tell. (I still have yet to hear all of the stories!)