Wednesday, May 4, 2011
My short time in Africa was an extremely meaningful experience to me on many different levels. The pictures I took do not capture it as I'd like but I do plan to do a series of sketches and paintings from the reference and from memory. My mom and I were there in Senegal to visit my sister in her small village she is working in for the Peace Corps. When we both returned from the trip and were back home, we were still sort of mesmerized by all we had been exposed to and learned from the travel. We talked about how our society is focused around "what you do" and the focus is based less on "who you are". In our culture for the most part, if you have that part of your life set into place, the career or the achievements, then you have it made. You are "okay". You are defined. You have an identity. It wasn't like that in Africa at all. They all did the same chores everyday together. They worked all day to prepare food, garden, clean. Life is simpler. The people of the village do not compare their lives or life accomplishments to other's lives. Everyone just lives. My mom and I were talking about how it's not as much appreciated in our Western culture, to worry about how you treat people each day but more about all that you do in a day. This is so ingrained in our fast-paced, "time is money" system. Needless to say, being aware of this difference was quite refreshing.