I recognize there could be many interpretations to the title of this post.
Here’s the path I’ll take: I’ve noticed since returning home from Uganda that I have a different approach to talking to people.
There’s a different conception of time in Africa… “African time,” I joke, means adding five hours to your expected ETA. Things just happen at their own rate of speed… there could be a traffic jam, an elephant in the road, a long line at the store. So you go with the flow.
An unexpected perk to this that I observed is that people take more time to talk to each other. This means making eye contact, and waiting for the answer to a question. The full magnitude of this attitude hit me when a well-dressed man walking rapidly through the grocery store bumped into me on accident.
He turned around, apologized, and asked, “how are you?” Upon hearing my response, he turned and was off on his errand.
How many times have I been too busy or distracted to wait for the answer to “what’s been going on? how was your weekend?”
If I care enough to ask the question, don’t I care about the answer, too?
I’m still processing my experience visiting Africa for the first time. This post represents my first stab at trying to convey my thoughts into words.
So, how are you? Let me know. (I’ll wait.)