ABCs of West Africa

middle-age American living in New Jersey near the Lincoln Tunnel «« Dear kind readers: I will summarize my thinking of West Africa for my benefit and potentially for yours.  This is prompted by news: AAA: Ebola  BBB: resignation of the Burkina Faso president today.  Sincerely, Tom Doody  ONE: when I drove a pedicab in 2011 many fellow pedicab dirvers were from Burkina Faso.  Cool, men who spoke an African tribal language between themselves in the closest groups, and French to other West Africans not in their closest groups, and English to people like me.  They were younger and sort of build like me in height and weight, and they sounded so cool speaking their African tribal language I liked being around them, but I had to hunt for my passengers alone, so I rarely talked to other drivers.  When I did I preferred a Burkina Faso man.  TWO: though my claim might change in time I claim I can engage with some healthy dialog with West Africans and I make almost no attempt to remember where in the string of coastal countries their country is, but I do make an effort to remember which ones are not coastal.  Burkina Faso is not coastal.  THREE: I saw a Burkina Faso jersey wearing man yesterday on Fourteenth, and I asked him about the burning of the Capital in the news yesterday, “He’s got to go” referring to the President.  I walked away thinking his whishes were not consistent with what I read about the President’s resolve to remain president, and today President Blaise resigns – awesome.  With some assistant from the outside and maybe a few fair elections from now over a decade and some things will be on track in a mostly off-track country.  FOUR: Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa and on track to being the most populated country in the world in my life time.  ¿Que pasa? China? India?.  It’s unimaginable to me that relatively-little-geography country will have the most people – ouch.  FIVE: all West African’s speak a tribal African language or have an uncommon reasons in their ancestry for not speaking a West African language.  Just as one might guess from the word tribal their tribal language is only useful on tribal lands or in small groups outside tribal lands with fellow tribesman and tribeswoman.  Exception: Wolfo.  I can say “thank you” in Wolof a skill that surprises Sengal people I encounter.  SIX: Liberia has been called an American colony though during the time this colonization force was strong colonization was bad fashion, so the US has always distanced itself from this term though much of what the term means applies to the US-Liberia relationship at one time.  Its current president was educated at Harvard.  Sounds colonial to me.  SEVEN: President Lincoln assassination plus a few decades emancipated blacks returned to Africa in large enough numbers to be historic, and most of them settled or tried to settle in Liberia. »» about me  201-490-9659  twitter  contact us

About Tom Doody

middle-age American living in New Jersey near the Lincoln Tunnel
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