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Andrew Clenaghan

Thanks for the great blog. My perception is that society in the West strives after 'happiness', whereas in Africa they have learned 'contentment' - making the best of what they've got. This spirit of resilience is what makes the continent great.

Alan Gaston

Thanks for that Steve. Spending a few weeks back in NI, we are struggling a bit to understand our discomfort in the land of immense comfort. I don't think people in the west are necessarily more 'materialistic' than the people we live with in SA. Everyone seems to hanker after possessions. Although it may well be more legitimate to hanker after basic possessions such as a fridge, a roof etc, many of our poorer friends fall victim to the pressures of consumerism and drive themselves into debt to get fancy cell phones, DVD players etc. I think the big difference in NI is how much material stuff people have. Life in SA is simpler with less to get in the way, even for the relatively well off such as ourselves. 'Stuff' gets in the way of real life even if we are not particularly materialistic.
PS Why does the NI population have such a thing about new and expensive cars. It is crazy!

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