Sitting in Charles deGaulle Airport in Paris I realize just how much diversity there is in the world that we miss at home. We often call the US a melting pot and now I get it. We melt all the individuality and uniqueness of people into the same white bread American. People are basically told, verbally or otherwise, to be American. Anglosize your culture and we'll add some of your recipes or spices to our melting pot. I love colour and all these beautiful colours had me at hello. Even the adverts are beautiful and diverse.
In this airport I see REAL Buddist monks, Sri Lankans, Indians, all types of African and Asians proudly wearing their native dress. It's all so colourful, with a little French flare thrown in, but not enough to loose their own identity. At O'Hare Airport all I saw was a nun in a short veil, and yes, I of course spoke to her. "Hello Sister" in my most Catholic girl voice. She was pleasantly surprised and smiled, "Why hello Dear" She knew I'd gone to Catholic school by the way I addressed her, and she was proud!
Three of my friends met me at the airport and we had a great time, We drank,laughed, exchanged stories and looked at pics of our families, icluding all the new editions. The four of us were having so much fun we forgot about time and the flight. Oops!I get to the gate just as they were boarding... But wait IS this the right flight? I'm suppose to go to Africa. Where are the Africans? The flight is full but it's 95% white! Going to Ouagadougou? Are they all going to FESPACO? Hmm.. one of the reasons I'm so confused is that there are categories at FESPACO that can only be won if the director is Black. This should be interesting.
This is definitely the party plane. Two hours into the five hour flight people are standing up talking and pouring their own drinks! I love the sound of French, it sounds like swearing only cooler. We're not in Kansas anymore. I'm partying too, listening to Kanye, Nina Simone and Frank Sinatra...
Landing in Ouaga was not so smooth as the ride. We hit the ground so hard my butt still hurts. The stewardesses had a frightened look on their faces, but when it was clear that we were safe, the whole plane broke in to spontaneous cheers and applause. TIA