Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fish Out of Water: Being White in Sub-Saharan Africa

I am a fish out of water here in Kumasi; a bustling city full to the brim with colors, miniscule patches lush green fauna so covered in trash they are in inhabitable, and an incessant swarm of people, rendering it impossible for solitary runs. Impossible to go unnoticed, as I like, in the sea of beautifully dark skin that can spot my difference from a mile away. There is no fitting in, there is no blending in with the crowd, there is only attempting to imitate them, yet I am still distinctly different and I will never, ever be one of them for my skin color is too much of a barrier to ever overcome. They will always view me differently due to my skin color. This often saddens me since I will never get a truly African experience since I am stuck in the White man in Africa’s experience. The struggles I go through as a white woman in Africa in not something that I share with Africans. It is a struggle that I must bare alone, and it is a struggle that has united me to my fellow AFS students in a way nothing else could. We are experiencing something solely unique to being white in Africa, something which few people know but once they do they will never forget for as long as they live.