Let's go for a walk, in Africa.
When i step out of the café and into the bright afternoon sun i am greeted by Africa. As i walk down the street, a little girl of six or seven in a blue and white school uniform stops.. and smiles at me. Women line the sidewalks sitting down behind the various fruits they are selling, which are stacked in nice neat little pyramids to make them more attractive. A young boy runs down the road pushing a single giant tire, but what is he going to do with ONE tire?? I see a man with a semi-automatic weapon slung over his shoulder, yet he has no uniform and no one seems alarmed – is this normal? I see a woman wearing a tattered Arizona Diamondbacks hat and a man wearing a Tennessee Titans shirt, but i am certain that neither has seen either sport before. As i continue on a man shouts “Hello my friend!” just to say hello – i nod and smile. An entire street is lined with women sitting behind the most primitive sewing machines, waiting.. waiting for the day that everyone in Africa has enough money to have their clothes hand tailored and they reap a fortune. Sometimes you must walk in the street because there is no sidewalk. I pass by a shop selling televisions.. TELEVISIONS, but who can afford them?? There is some odd music blaring from somewhere, but why? It’s really lost in the shuffle anyway. Two proud Maasai warriors sit on a curb in their signature brilliantly colored togas each holding their walking staff as they watch the swirling chaos of life go by. Young boys carry cardboard boxes or woven baskets jingling change in their hand to attract attention to the wares they are selling – anything from peanuts to toothpaste, water pistols to candy. A man passing by shouts “Jambo!” followed by “How was Kili??” and as we pass i give him a thumbs up and wonder if i know him.. before realizing that’s impossible.
Just by walking down the street here i become a part of everything around me. In America, everyone is living in their own little world, encouraged more and more to associate less and less by the thieving shroud of technology. In Africa, we are what we used to be – the living breathing dying sweating talking smiling laughing dancing coughing HULK that is humanity.
ps. tomorrow i will be taking off for a five day wildlife safari and the day after is my birthday. all i want for my birthday is to hear a lion roar in the night while i am lying in my tent.. god wouldn't that be great!