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Interesting Conversation
06-07-2016, 06:26 PM
Post: #1
Interesting Conversation
My daughter feels sorry for people who strike up conversations with me because they invariably get a history lesson. That said, I had an interesting conversation today with a young gentleman from South Africa who was trying to sell me Verizon.

Nowadays, I have the habit of asking people with a definite accent/dialect what their country of origin is. That's how I found out he was from South Africa -- perfect English, very polite, and a delight to deal with. Right away, however, he assumed that I was retired from any jobs. When I told him that I ran a museum, he wanted to know more.

He knew who Abraham Lincoln was from his schooling in South Africa (has only been in America for one year and will attend college in New York this fall). However, he said that Lincoln is the only U.S. President that is mentioned in his native schools. He knew about Teddy Roosevelt also and admired him. However, he is not sure why Lincoln is so famous, but everyone looks up to him as a great leader.

He vaguely knew some details about slavery and our Civil War, and I discussed the North vs. South situation, states' rights vs. central government, etc. He left with an assignment to google Mr. Lincoln's White House,, and anything he could find on Booth and the assassination. I told him to visit Surratt House before he leaves for New York, and I would make sure he got a free tour.

We also discussed some aspects of life in the U.S. He said that our country is wonderful, but that it also has a great deal of evil. The country of Liberia is the worst in crime as far as he is concerned (note its American roots). He does not understand government assistance programs here at all. He suggested that those who cry that they are in poverty should visit countries in Africa and also India to see what true poverty is.

He thanked me and said that it was so nice to have someone to discuss history with. He wants to know more about America, but very few people know their country's history.

It's young folk like him that make me wish I could go back in the classroom...
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