African-Americans who've been to Africa, how did it affect you? (Serious)

Second hand story here from my friend.

A little background: He's half black half white and has done missionary work in Haiti and Africa. Before these trips he's never left the country. We were both raised in the upper class so he's always had luxury to a large extent.

The trip and the 'eye opener': While he is well aware of his half and half roots he still largely identifies as black as he to most people he looks black and feels as if that "half" was more impact on his life and identity. What he calls the 'eye opener' was his realization on a lot of problems and even reasons for some racism. When he went to Africa, Ethiopia, to be specific, he wasn't met with a lot of good tidings. Many people did not want him there. Some straight up did not want his help while some others tried to get more than others. There was violence in some areas, he heard allegations of rape not far from where they stayed and he didn't feel safe. This went on, in varying extremes, for several days and it struck him for a long while. You could tell something was off.

When he came back, he had plenty of stories to tell, and not many people wanted to hear them all. He knew he was lucky to have what he had, but he felt bittersweet about it. He never thought about the amount of luxuries he had in so many aspects of his day to day life, for most of what he can remember it was expected. He knew food would always be on the table, vacations were plentiful, and whatever hobby he wanted to start within reason; he could do.

But for a lot of his ethnicity, that's not the case. The people he was around didn't have food every night, they didn't have the means to leave, and they certainly didn't get access to a fraction of what he had open to him. You could tell it changed something about his happy-go-lucky nature.

What changed henceforth: He's done a lot more charity work, donations, and has "put them in his thoughts and prayers many a night." He's generally more self aware about what he has and what he can give.

I've seen bigger changes in people, but they've been mostly from good to bad, it was a welcome change of pace to see him take what he saw and try to make things better.

/r/AskReddit Thread