On the Road with RoxAnna: Day FiveMay 4, 2017
Trek across Senegal
This morning we left Dakar and traveled for over four hours to Saint Louis, another coastal town in Senegal. As we drove across the landscape it became very apparent we were in a different world. The culture and concepts are so very different than what I am used to. These travels definitely made me feel appreciative for where I live, as amazing as it is to be here.
As a Californian I was raised to care about the oceans and have a deep appreciation for keeping them clean. When I went to the beach growing up, we didn’t litter and we cleaned up after ourselves. We understood that everything ends up downstream and eventually can lead to our waterways and into the oceans. And so we were taught to throw our trash away and not litter. Some of us remember the owl who told us to give a hoot and not pollute and many of us took that owl very seriously. After today’s drive, I don’t think the owl’s message made it here. The concept of pollution and litter seems to be missed as we drove through miles and miles of litter strewn roads and while we saw some beautiful landscape we also saw lots of trash. I asked colleagues about this and most of them said litter is a foreign concept and that it is most certainly a difference in culture. I was really surprised by this and did not expect it. This is not to say we do not pollute our oceans because I am not naïve enough to think we don’t but I also know there are organizations who are doing their best to protect them. I am not so sure that is happening here.
We share one planet with humans that have so many differences despite being a species that are so similar. Our cultures are different, the way we dress is different, the animals that roam freely are different (there are A LOT of goats here, just roaming the land!), the way we look at the world is different.
Today, I thought what if each one of us decided today to never litter ever again, we packed out every time we hiked, we recycled, we all just did one more thing to not add to the problem of pollution. One more thing for the good, even the smallest difference cannot hurt but only help. The world could be a better place, a cleaner place, a place we would feel good about kids growing up in. Doing nothing, does nothing, so do something, make a difference, make your little piece of the world, no matter where that is, better. Each one of us holds that gift in our hands to do something, so just do something. If we all each just did a little something, than we are doing something to help not hurt. So maybe we cannot clean up the trash on the other side of the world but we each can decide to clean up our little piece of the world. Make our actions matter for the good, so our world can be better for all.
Be good humans.