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Discussion on African Mentality and Kelly’s Birthday

Today was a pure driving day from Mekele into the direction of Weldiya. Before starting to drive at 9:30am Andrew and I did our job of filling the trucks jerry cans with water. We especially need to make sure that we have enough water before bush camping since there isn’t any water at the “campsite” in the wilderness.

For lunch we stopped just beside the road and todays cooking group had purchased some local food from a restaurant in Axum which was a welcomed change to the bread rolls we usually have for lunch.

The remaining day was just driving and I spent the time with listening to my iPod and having conversations with some of my fellow travellers. One of them was complaining about the service level he has received in our hotel in Mekele. Basically, when he was complaining about the electric shock shower in his room and other broken items the staff didn’t really care. He also needed to wait an hour for his breakfast and only received half of the food he ordered. On the other side he was requested to pay for services and food he hasn’t received which gave him the feeling that most of the African people think that we easily give away our money without requiring good services or products for it. He calls this the African mentality which needs to be changed in his eyes. On the other side I personally don’t care that much. I simply appreciate what I receive and when I don’t receive what I expected I call it bad luck. In my eyes this is part of the adventure and I don’t expect the people to be as efficient as home but appreciate the cultural differences. I travel to experience these differences, appreciate the diversity of the world and be surprised if something finally works out which looked extremely chaotic before. There are simply different ways of approaching things and we in the Western civilization shouldn’t claim that our approach is always the best one and everybody else should adapt to it.

After driving the whole day we set up our bush camp at a scenic spot right next to a dried out river. After setting up the tent I killed time by playing Frisbee with a few others. It was also Kelly’s birthday and since Kelly, who is from New Zealand now living in London, has Irish roots we celebrated his birthday with Irish folk songs around the campfire which were performed by our fellow Irish travellers Chris and Tom.