Monday, March 29, 2010

The Real African Experience.

My 12-day in Africa was definitely the most extraordinary travel experience I've ever had. I traveled mainly in 3 major cities in Nigeria - Lagos, Abuja and Kano, three very different flavor of Nigeria. The idea of this first African trip for me is not to see the monuments as a tourist, but to experience the authentic Africa, see where the local people live, work and play. It was an eye-opening journey, full of curiosity, excitement, surprising and sorrow. During this visit, I have visited several youth educational institutes, small hospitals, massive slums and an UN Millennium village. I gave lectures at two national universities and also had quite a few conversations with local artists.

I especially would like to thank Jonathan Fanton, the President Emeritus of MacArthur Foundation; and Kole, the head of MacArthur Foundation office in Nigeria for giving me this amazing opportunity to visit Africa and for arranging such a meaningful trip for me.

Below are some of the photos I took in my trip.










All imges © Shen Wei

Monday, March 15, 2010

First Impression of Africa

© Shen Wei

After twenty-some hours, I finally arrived in Lagos - Nigeria's largest populated city. It seems so surreal to me. It has been one of my dream to visit Africa and now it is right in front of me. I have to thank Jonathan Fanton, the President Emeritus of MacArthur Foundation to make this trip happen for me. My first day is already very adventurous, visited two extraordinary slums. Little children followed me everywhere, they are some of the most adorable and happy kids I have ever seen. Locals are extremely warm and kind, eager to talk to me and show me around. The stereotype images of Africa has already been slowly changing in my mind. My first impression of Africa is so beyond my expectation. I understand why it is so easy to fall in love with this mysterious land.