So what is Africa?

On 18 December 2013 by From elephants to kangaroos

Before starting to read this article, I advise you to read it while listening to the song of Jinja Safari called Mermaids, I wrote my article on it and it goes pretty well with …

So several months in Africa, what is it? After 90 days spent there, I don’t pretend to know all about it but let me give you my vision of it…
It is a culture shock initially disconcerting. You feel lost, you don’t know exactly where you are or who you are, you lose the notion of time, priorities, you are lost … You hear a lots of bad stories from the locals or from abroads people that you don’t really realize before you come here. But after this short period, which lasts about one week, then we discover the real Africa. The One that moves you, makes you sing, dance, smile, and cry too. Because Africa is a mix of many things.
IMG_1053A mix of small shops where you will find first merchant of fruits and vegetables followed by fresh food stand with chapati or mandasi on mornings, at noon chips and at nights fried chicken or samosa. Then you will fall on the seller of 2nd hand clothing, manufacturer of metal doors, furniture salesman, the mechanic, the carpenter and the person with her ​​sewing machine waiting to repair the hole in your pants. Will follow the place where you can get a piky piky or catch a matatu.

imageIMG_2499Africa is also a mix of food where ugali is king and meat a luxury. You will discover many dishes and ways of cooking things that you will not forget. And you eat in large quantities too. It is a mix of flavors with the smell of milk soup chapatis or fish that you can’t look away, but you may also feel the smell of dirt that exists in your eyes unfortunately.

It is a mix of climates. Being in Kenya and Tanzania, I was near (or on) the line of the Equator which means that the seasons are different from what we know. It is all hot weather, it rained in Kenya almost every day, bringing a lot of power outages and fresh air too. In Tanzania, a little rain each day at this season and the sun is back. It is a mixture of hot, sun, rain, mosquitoes, humidity.

IMG_2690This is obviously a mix of animals as you cross in the streets cows, goats, chickens, pigs and some dogs and cats. And of course, you hit bigger with elephants, giraffes, lions, hippos, rhinos, zebras, hyenas and other animals on safari!

danceIt is a combination of rhythm with the music everywhere, the sound of musical instruments that resonate, Africans dancing incredibly well during parties or just on the street for fun.

But with anything, Africa is a mix of colors. The blue sky and lots of different blue sea, yellow as the sun is shining every day, green vegetation, red earth, the white sandy beach, the mix of colorful clothes. Yellow giraffe, gray elephant, black and white zebra. And of course, the black skin of the warm and friendly people but also the whites of their bright smiles …

IMG_3524So if you still hesitate to go, I can only advise you to take the plunge, to go to a (large) turn, to live the lives of these people who do not have much but give you a lot. And you will surely realize that all those things that seemed important to you like taking THIS subway not to be late for work or make your presentation on time to your boss are actually quite useless compared with a smile of children here because you have taught them to count or compared to a multicolored sunset on the beach…

IMG_3294Kids, after hearing you asking me a thousands times “Mzungu how are you?”, just know that I have been more than fine at your sides ! Thank you to everyone who made my adventure a lifetime, whether my host family, people with whom I worked, I met, who welcomed me to their home, explained how they lived, shared a piece of their lives. I made so many diferent people, most unexpected, I do not know how to thank you all… Africa, thanks for everything and just know that I will come back one day…I still have a lot to discover about you!

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