My first full day in Sao Tome started with me going with James and Chika to get some power strips for our house. We went to a Nigerian merchant and James introduced him to Chika who is also Nigerian. They found out that they were from very close towns and they spoke the same language. The man invited us to a party that night.
When we arrived at the party we realized that it was an entire block party, at least a few thousand people spread out over a few blocks including live music, DJs, dancing and lots of vendors. We went to Mr. Cato’s house with about 10 in our group and we quickly outnumbered his seating arrangement. He left and after a minute or two came back and told us to follow him. We walked into a little (two table) restaurant and found the management kicking everyone out to make way for us.
It was a great night and Mr. Cato took care of food (cooked sea snails) and beverages. The way that everyone moved out of the way for visitors and took every step to make sure that we were comfortable was incredible and has really challenged me to better welcome people in the US, particularly foreign exchange students.