Eighteen Days. That's how much time I have been back in Canada. Eighteen of the longest days of my life.
I am constantly asked about my experience in Africa, and I am usually at a loss to find the right way to describe the experience. The only thing I am convinced of is that I loved it. Its too bad its over. But it had to come to an end at one point.
How is it being back? Well, it is not as wonderful as I thought it would be. My craving for Fast Food as passed, infact I never did get that Whopper I was craving. Nope. Still haven't. I spent a year in Africa drooling over my memories of Whoppers, and now I just walk passed the Burger King, feeling disgusted by the food industry, while trying not too think too much about my friends in Africa who might not have all this luck.
I am also left wondering where all the smiles went? In Africa, people look at you, they smile. Here, nobody looks at you, and nobody smiles. Coming back, in the middle of the christmas crazyness, is like adding fuel on the fire. Yesturday, I met up with a friend at a shopping center, and we spent a few hours chatting away in the food court while watching the shoppers go by. Nobody smiles. Nobody. Here are people, shopping for christmas, buying gifts, for, I assume their loved ones, and yet, the expression on their faces was one of pain, aggression and frustration.
I imagined what it would be like if I could take anyone of my Burkinabè friends and put them in a mall with some money and a credit card, and tell them to spend the day shopping for their family. If they had this opportunity, I can guarantee you, they would be smiling, even if there are lots of people at the mall, even if it takes a long time to find a customer service rep at the store, even if the lines are long... they would be smiling. Because right now, they can`t buy anything.
I won`t be buying anything either.
This will be my last posting on this blog. Thank you for reading my dribble. I will continue my photography blog, which can be seen at http://gabrielrobichaudphotography.blogspot.com/ and my website www.gabrielrobichaud.com.