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    Great White Shark, South Africa


    Our new name is Money

    December 14th, 2006 by mary

    …and locals say hello to us all the time. Yes, we’ve entered Africa proper starting with Ethiopia. Everywhere we go we hear the same 3 phrases, ‘hello, money’, ‘you you you!!’, ‘gimme money’ shouted from kids racing towards us, pulling on our arms, grabbing at our legs. Sure adults do it too but they have an individual approach whereas the young ones have a hive tactic. We’re convinced those are the first words they learn. Whenever we stop crowds of dark wondering faces crowd us as they has no sense of personal space. I can’t say they’re completely harmless because our group has had stones thrown at us after refusing to give a kid something. And there’s been countless incidences where our group has been flat-out completely cheated of money for no obvious reason than lying for the sake of greed, but that’s the adults. One Ethiopian told us not to give the kids anything because then they grown up with the mentality of demanding money from foreigners in place of a work ethic. And we’re strictly not to give anything when we’re near or on the truck because then kids run after it and climb on the back, risking their lives. Our driver said two kids have already died that way. Unfortunately traveling around with a large group that is most of the people we end up encountering. There, of course, are very honest, understanding people and they tend to be the ones least connected with tourism so we have to go out of way to find them. That’s just how it goes and I’m still trying to find out if anyone here knows the words ‘please’ or ‘thank you’.

    Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

    2 Responses

    1. Jow Says:

      Wasn’t it in Dominica where we ran into kids that were the same way? I remember being flagged down while in a car by a group of kids and all they wanted was money. No stones there though. Did you throw some back?

    2. mary Says:

      I couldn’t START the rock slinging fight, but I was hoping to return it. Unfortunately it never happened.

      Yeah, we’re just walking money bags to them. It doesn’t help that when Steve rambles through his pockets loose change rolls out everywhere.

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