Education. The endless pursuit of knowledge and the pieces of paper that come with it. I’ve been fortunate to have attended elementary school, middle school, high school and IB in 4 different countries over two continents and later a fifth country where I pursued my university studies and then ended up working in a sixth country on a third continent. In between time, I’ve visited a host of other countries far and wide, lived in some, got stranded in others, fell in love with a few but hated none. Anyways, where was I? Yes, education. I don’t believe that the wealth of knowledge and experience I’ve acquired over my quarter of a century on this earth came from just acquiring qualification after qualification in the various learning institutions I have been to.
Its deeper than that.
Being a foreign dependant then an international student then an expat has been enriching because of the various cultural and social exchanges that I’ve enjoyed from having lived, studied and worked in those diverse milieux. But there’s also another element which is often overlooked by afropolitans such as myself, which is the social and cultural interactions that take place between yourself and all the other foreigners you meet in those countries. For instance, I learnt a lot of woloof words and phrases from my Ethiopian friends that I went to school with in Sénégal because I knew the stuff they were teaching me would be just enough to get by on the streets and in the marketplaces of downtown Dakar. We all picked up French of course but I knew some Amharic words and I taught them some Swahili words too. These exchanges play themselves out everyday for those of us that have lived and worked in the diaspora. Social and cultural barriers in the various host countries definitely seemed insurmountable at times and complicated things as far as settling down and adjusting to a new place was concerned. But I’ve always found that interacting with fellow immigrants and some of the welcoming locals always made the transition process so much smoother and easier. But of course, over time, you get used to the uprooting and settling down, the introductions and the goodbyes, the wide-eyed first times and the familiarity of foreign street names and vehicle license plates.
In essence, I see how and why education is considered a life-long process that in my case has been greatly enriched by experiencing peoples, cultures, social settings, languages, climates, politics, cuisine, lifestyles other than those that I am familiar with in my home country.
I’ve always said that if I ever were to open a Travel Agency anywhere in the world, our slogan would definitely be:
“Travel & Educate Ya’ Self!”
To sum up, the name is NV and my role on this here blog is to share what the world has taught me and how the world has shaped my thoughts and perceptions on life and everything that comes with it.
Now Playing: Anthony Hamilton – ‘Comin’ From Where I’m From’