Africa: What happiness looks like.

This image for me is my forever reminder that happiness is not about money, clothes, where you live or where you work, your shoes or your hair, or about how many people like you or call you.  It’s much simpler than that.

A few years ago I was a member of a medical and optical mission to Malawi, Africa.

Malawi is a landlocked country in southeastern Africa.  It’s among the poorest third world countries in the world and the poorest in Africa.  The people there face significant challenges including desperate poverty, lack of infrastructure, high illiteracy and medical issues including an HIV and AIDS pandemic.

We saw hundreds of villagers at the clinic over the days we were there.  The free clinic, it turns out, comes once a year and since the average wage is $400 a year here seeing a doctor or getting medical treatment of any sort is outside their means.   Hospitals get medicine and it goes out the ‘back door’ to be sold or used in doctor’s private practices.

YET this area is famously referred to throughout the African continent as “The warm heart of Africa” due to the friendly nature of the people there.

My favorite memory of this trip was crossing paths with a local man from Dubai City, Malawi.   On the last day of the clinic we were wrapping up and I took this picture of a him all dressed up for the American doctors, waiting in line for many hours and with his prized bike.

This is how I’ll remember my time in Africa and my connection to finding happiness in living simply.


Do you have any life experiences that have changed your perspective?  I’d love to hear your story please comment below.

 

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