Summer 2016, I booked a trip to southern Africa. I was looking forward to see the wild animals, the open landscapes and the famous African sunsets. We visited several countries like South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, but what in the end what touched me the most were the people I met.
I took a guided tour to a native village on the Namibian side. The landscape there was very arid, with almost no vegetation. We passed by a women carrying a child on her back, a bucket on her head and another one on her right hand. As we were catching sight of the first huts, we were surrounded by dozens of children of different ages.
As we entered the village, my first feelings were of sadness and desolation. It was hard to believe how those people could live there, with so little. There were no electricity or tap water, no doors or windows on the houses - just holes on the clay walls.
It seemed to me, it ought to be a terrible life, so difficult and so challenging…
So we hang around in the village for a few hours, playing with the children. They're amazed with our cameras and tablets, laughing and playing with each other, all showing exuberant happiness and excitement with our visit. They all looked genuinely happy kids!
By the end of our visit the whole community joined together, singing and dancing. Everyone was laughing and dancing - the kids and the elders, even babies on their mothers arms. It touched me to see how those people having so little seemed to enjoy life so much.
Those children changed me, and changed the way I look at the world. They're a lot happier than many of us even with our valuable assets.
I believe that the most important thing about traveling, are the people you meet and the way they change your view of the world. I love Africa, and this part of the continent is absolutely amazing. The landscapes are astonishing and the people are so friendly and beautiful. This part of the world should definitely be on your bucket list.
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