Weeks in USA but in Rio  


August 18, 2016 By: Sahr Morris Jr. in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I just don’t quite remember since we departed Freetown for Rio on August 3 how many times I have deliberately refused to answer to the call of a little voice urging me to write travelogue of my trip. This has always been the case in all my previous travels , which started from a tiny West African nation of the Gambia, to Senegal, Turkey, South African, Azerbaijan, Scotland to name but few. I always write an article on the journey and lots of things I can vividly remember sometimes in 2014, I wrote something on the Glasgow trip while covering the Commonwealth Games.

I know the likes of Alusine Sesay, ‘Big Brother Benji’ and the ‘mammy in the house’ Audrey Kanu all of Concord Times are eagerly waiting to see the travelogue not for the message itself but to find a point that will end up as a laughing one.

Anyways you guys have to wait for a while for the maybe Travelogue but for the moment, you can still get point from this article; ‘My time in U.S from Rio’.

“More than any other nation on Earth, America has constantly drawn strength and spirit from wave after wave of immigrants. In each generation, they have proved to be the most restless, the most adventurous, the most innovative, and the most industrious of people. Bearing different memories, honoring different heritages, they have strengthened our economy, enriched our culture, renewed our promise of freedom and opportunity for all,” the words of the 42nd President of the United States of America, William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton, a man who ruled the World’s greatest nation from 1993 to 2001.

It is no hiding fact that the world over; Africa, Asia, Middle East and even here in South America have high percentage of people or its citizens who are always dreaming to be in America either on a visitation, tourism, education, sports or become permanent resident or better still acquiring an America citizenship.

This feeling or urge is something that is hard to hide because there are lots of factors why people want to be part of the great nation.

According to the Global Portal for diplomats, throughout most of its history, the United States has had influxes of immigration. The ethnic mix is said to be 83% white (generally of European descent, but also from the Middle East and Latin America), 12% African-American, 3% Asian and about 1% Native American and its further revealed that present day the biggest immigrant groups are from Latin countries.

That is why the country’s 43rd President, George W. Bush was said: “It says something about our country that people around the world are willing to leave their homes and leave their families and risk everything to come to America. Their talent and hard work and love of freedom have helped make America the leader of the world. And our generation will ensure that America remains a beacon of liberty and the most hope fills society this world has ever known.”

Yes indeed, the love of freedom has helped make America the leader of the world, a country ideal of liberty such value does not only stopped in the States but amongst its citizens who traversed the World.

Unlike many African youths who are still looking at the chance to visit the U.S, my wait is all over because I have truly experienced and visited the United States of America away from the U.S. Yes indeed I continue to spend my days and weeks in the U.S from different geographical area, permit me to say ‘Living in America from Rio de Janeiro’.

Staying at the same lodge; Hotel Saionara with both the Male and Female USA Volleyball team is one big surprise for me. I struck up conversation with some of them and learnt a lot about how these teams travel; apparently most of the times they travel via charter planes (and the private jet cost to buy is not cheap, let me tell you!) It was fun to get a glimpse into their lives and it only happened because they stayed at the same place where I did. And the big reason is that like the other athletes, the Olympic Games Village apartment is specially designed for all athletes that are participating in the Olympic Games.However there were several reasons for both team to stay at the beautiful Hotel Saionara and one vivid reason is the distance from hotel to the Maracanãzinho venue is just a kilo meter walk.

Why saying I am living in U.S? Off we go, still with the Global Portal for diplomats: “For some Americans,

Socializing may start off meal, but often the conversation will revolve around business. The fork is held in the left hand, tines facing down. The knife is held in the right hand. After cutting the food, the knife is laid down and the fork is switched to the right hand to eat the cut food. Raise your hand or index finger and make eye contact to signal a server. Americans tend to eat more quickly than people from other countries.”

The above quotation is nothing missing from what I am experiencing and let me share this with you all. At my first two days taking break-fast, I always asked myself why the hurry from this people? Lots of questions and bit of answers always played in my brains but as the days continue to go bye I saw the need and started following the style and it helped a lot to be at competition venue on time, get things done before deadline et al.

Like Noam Chomsky asserted: “In many respects, the United States is a great country. Freedom of speech is protected more than in any other country. It is also a very free society. In America, the professor talks to the mechanic. They are in the same category.”

The hotel was home for the players, coaches and other officials within the team plus the hotel staff and other open guest like me. Also share FEW moments with FEW of the players and officials. It was deliberate to write the few in bold and block letters because the people make do with the little time they have as they always have the taut of what lies ahead, their purpose of being in Brazil, thinking of matches ahead to a point we can’t end any conversation with sharing views of the Olympic Games and the Volleyball competition.

Their informal greeting which is not in no way intended to show lack of respect, but rather a manifestation of the American belief that everyone is equal is unimaginable and they are quick to say “See you later” and going through the portal guide it tell you that the latter is just an expression which most of them say even if they never plan to see you again.

The cultural sharing was also great, unlike my brother and colleague who few years back went to the State to cover the U.S election, for me I traveled to the U.S in Brazil not only to cover the Olympic Games but the American volleyball team .And a true confession from me was that after Sierra Leone participation ended last Sunday, despite being a British football (the American says soccer) fan (only revealing it now) I started throwing my weight to the American team particularly the United States of America at Saionara Hotel.

I have been to several countries, exchange with its citizens et al, but like PEW Research stated, the differences between America and other nations have long been a subject of attraction and study for social scientists, dating back to Alexis de Tocqueville, the early 19th century French political thinker described the United States as “exceptional.”

“Americans are more upbeat than people in other wealthy nations when asked how their day is going. About four-in-ten Americans (41%) described their day as “particularly good day,” a much higher share than those in Germany (21%), the UK (27%) and Japan (8%),” stated PEW Research.

Despite this good moment here with the U.S.A team, my next stop will not be the real U.S in Las Vega, Alabama, New York or Chicago, but the beautiful city, land that we love Freetown Sierra Leone here I COME SOON.