In Africa everyone is family,this includes your mother’s distant cousin 5 times removed. So how do we carry ourselves when we find ourselves house guests no matter what continent we find ourselves in? How do we ensure the visit is pleasurable for us as guests as well as for our hosts?
Show up on time. It is polite to call ahead and confirm with your hosts what time you expect to arrive. You do not want to be getting them out of bed at midnight . Start off your visit on a pleasant note by keeping time. Remember to also show up in time for meals and especially breakfast,show up dressed for the day.
Gift giving is a part of every culture Whenever you visiting someone,whether family or not there and plan to stay for more than a night it is important to bring with you a gift.
Offer to help
No one is ever too important to help even as a guest,make your bed,offer to set the table,wash or dry dishes and generally be considerate of your host or hostess. If you intend to stay for longer than five days and can afford to, offer to shop for groceries ,cook or take out your hosts for lunch or dinner.
As a guest always have your host in mind all the time and do not inconvenience your hosts by leaving your things lying around the house. Keep your room tidy all the time no matter how many staff your host has. When it is time to leave,strip the bed and leave the room as you found it.
If you were staying at a house where there were staff waiting on you or taking care of your room,talk with your host and ask what would be an appropriate amount to leave for the staff
Thank you Note
Write a thank you note or just say than you to your hosts for making your visit a pleasant and comfortable one at the end of your visit. Saying thank you will show your hosts how grateful and appreciative you were for their hosting you. It is an acknowledgement that you do not take anything they did for you for granted and an acknowledgement that they matter.