My first time in Africa was one I continue to reflect on more than any trip to date.
It is a place of contradictions where in some places people live in wooden or corrugated metal shacks (tied together with plastic bags and if they're lucky, covered in part by plastic sheeting) alongside pristine, gated villages with every luxury imaginable.
Offshore oil has brought hope of wealth for West African populations, but they have been dashed and while some have learned the harsh reality that oil money, like anywhere else in the world, is divided among those who already enjoy wealth beyond the average man and woman's dreams, there are still some who still believe they will some day get their share.
So, while there is discontent, they get on with life and thrive in an environment where I doubt I'd survive more than a few days.
These men, women and children know what it is to struggle and they all play their daily part in doing everything they can to survive.