Osaka, Japan — In some ways, perhaps in many ways, Africa is a conundrum. Africa is so much more than “Africa”. For the geographically challenged, “Africa” is merely a word that disregards the dignity of its people and overlooks its dynamism. For everyone else, those three syllables encompass a tapestry of life and cultures, languages and traditions, economies and political boundaries, flora and fauna, peace and war, extreme wealth and abject poverty. Africa has all the yin and yang you care to add to that list. I fell in love with Africa a long time ago, and not just for its wonder or magic, but for its potential…for my potential. There is nary a dull moment on that great land, and serendipity usually lurks around every corner. Go to Africa, anywhere, at any opportunity because Africa’s majesty far outweighs even its worst — Ebola does not begin to define the continent so colored by the rich amalgam of breathtaking landscapes or the extraordinary people and all their manifestations of life. While the scourge of this dreaded disease ravages west Africa and threatens to expand, I want to share the joy that the African conundrum gives me because I don’t want the stigma of Africa’s worst to ever eclipse its understated best. May all those battling this frightful disease be well, and may Af-ri-ca and all its people reach their potential in peace and in good health.
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