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For me it was something completely different. I live in France, but i’m from Guinea-Conakry, a small country in West Africa. It’s one of the least developed countries, so the average population is very poor, but as the French say “Il y fait bon vivre”.

My familly is definitely not wealthy, but not poor either. So somewhere in between i’ll say. I had very happy upbriging. Sure there were no movie stars, or palaces, but ididnt need anything more than i already had. I got to travel often, i was in a great school, and as long as i had my books i was happy. There were very few distractions: no movie theater, or bowling, or anything you might find almost everywhere in the occident. Which left books, TV, swimming pools, the beach and sports.

I have a very large familly and we lived in the ‘centre ville’, in a very very loud and dusty part of Conakry. People getting busy early in the morning, anxious to get started with work be it carrying heavy stuff, selling food or all kinds of stuff. Most of our neighbors were very poor and often worked to have food for the next day. We were often left without electricity for days or every two days at best, so at night we would just sit ouside, “stargazing” because of the fresh air or light candles inside play games, tell stories with all the cousins and sometimes uncles and aunts. Or sometimes those who couldnt afford the solar panel would gather at the households who could to watch games, the news or movies.

Some might say i was happy because i didnt know anything else. But i really was. Most of us cousins and friends now live in Europe, Asia or US but i know we all wouldnt trade these moments for anything in the world.