I recently came across an interesting news tid-bit: According to a 2003 survey of people from 65 countries, Nigerians appear to be the happiest people in the world. Romanians came in 65th.
Just the other day Tobi gave me his own anecdotal evidence of this theory. He said when his Nigerian friends fall down and get hurt on the playground, they just start laughing and then continue playing. He contrasted that with some other boys who fall down and really make a big fuss out of it.
When our American friend Emily who has grown up in Czech visited us, she was absolutely amazed at the general happiness of people whom she saw along the road on the four-hour drive from the airport to Jos.
Life is hard here, but people still find joy in living. Suicide is almost unheard of.
I think it's safe to say that most Nigerians have been cheated in one way or another, but instead of getting bitter and remaining angry for a long time, they let it go.
Nigerians are constantly joking with each other. The women I work with are always telling stories in the Hausa language, and then cracking up with each other. To me it seems that stories are always funnier in Hausa.
I love it when visitors come to Bezer Home expecting to see end-stage AIDS patients, but instead they are met by laughter pouring out of the upstairs rooms.