Why Does Africa So Grip My Soul?
Sudan, Tanzania, Egypt and Kenya have strong grips on my heart. And whenever I hear or read anything Africa-related media-wise, such as the sad case of a hopeful immigrant to Canada from Eritrea committing suicide when our country would not accept him or when I think of my German friend Sigi serving with his military in Mali, my chest tightens and I hold my breath. When I read stories on Facebook of friends working in Juba, Southern Sudan, or serving in areas where I worked as UN military observer in southern Sudan, I get the strong urge to get back to that wonderful continent. Friends working at our favourite safari lodge Beho Beho in the Selous range of south east Tanzania, send photos of the incredible wildlife and I want to pack my bags RIGHT NOW! Why, I wonder? Africa is more than a place of wonderful memories and great photos. It is something deep and visceral. It is addictive. Absolutely no one I know who has been to that continent has not become addicted to it. It burrows its way into your soul. It consumes you. It is emotional. You can feel it and touch it . . . . . And it is not merely visual. When you step off the airplane in any African country, the unique smell of the place is overwhelming – not to be duplicated anywhere else in the world. Africa is the land of huge smiles amongst great poverty. It is this contradiction that I cannot wrap my head around. Here in the West, in Canada at least, we have huge frowns amongst great wealth! What gives?
So true, Jim! I wept when we drove onto the Serengeti plain. On Zanzibar, the smell of oranges and cloves mingled. I didn’t see garbage anywhere. Everything is used. There is no waste. I must go back someday.
You should write for a travel magazine. You create emotions and visions that leads you places.
Hey Pat. That’s very kind of you to say. Have you been to Africa? It is SO easy to get passionate about the place! See you on Skype . . .
I think you have got a serious case of Bush hunger. It is the smell after rain, huge
skies and vistas as far as you can see.
I hope that you have sent some of your thoughts to BehoBeho as they would love to use them in the letter? Perhaps you could write a blog for the Camp???? It would be good as you have the essence of Africa in your soul.
I have MAJOR Bush Hunger, Aunty B!!
well just read your blog on Africa and I feel the same way about Mexico – I arrive in Mexico and I get the same feeling – I smile when I arrive and I never stop – these people have a way of living life with passion and feeling that I get and I never feel here – I do not know what it is – I just feel it – one day I will go to Africa and I look forward to feeling all you feel and have described in your blog – I see what you see and I feel what you feel just by reading your words.