July 4, 2015


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Africa

Lessons Learned: ‘Continent of extremes’ fostered new self-awareness

Tony Rogge, director of the International Centre for Students at the University of Manitoba. Lived and worked in Africa 1973-74, 1978-79 and 1981 with his family; travelled, lived and learned in Africa as a child and as a development worker in Malawi with World University Students Canada from 1995-97.

"I’ve always said that Africa is a continent of extremes. Finding a comfort zone within these extremes is a huge challenge for anyone really interested in cultivating a relationship with Africa, its people and its diaspora.

Tony Rogge (second from left) with brothers and friends in 1973 in Ibaden, Nigeria.

Tony Rogge (second from left) with brothers and friends in 1973 in Ibaden, Nigeria.

Finding a balance between the amazing possibilities, the creativity, its grace, good humour and hospitality and the ugly realities of a continent under immense stress and undergoing rapid change, is critical.

Living, working and studying in 15 countries in Africa has made me much more aware of who I am, my place in the world and the many gifts that I have. But it has also made me equally aware of my own limitations, taught me to be modest about what I know to be true in the world and reminded me to trust the uncertainty in my life."

— compiled by John Longhurst

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