The saying is TIA-This is Africa. Most commonly used when justifying a departure time 3 hours behind schedule, a terrible toilet, or a 800g skewer of game meat. Which is great, but with the exception of the third example the A could represent Asia just as fine.
I have been on the road for over 300 days. I have woken up with cockroaches in my bed in Australia, been prescribed anti—histamines for a concussion in Cambodia, and been applauded by local women for weathering a toilet in India…the conditions and facilities of travelling no longer faze me. I’ve become numb to culture shock and ever annoyed with what used to be the charm of the varying ‘isms’ from one nation to the next. Until now.
Africa. Un-fairly we Westerners seem to see the continent as one nation…one big scary place with genocides, beastly animals gone wild, Malaria, and extreme terrains. Nobody would care to know that just as Canadians don’t identify with being American, the same pride lies in the individual countries of Africa. Moreover, the history that these nations have endured is unique and astonishing to hear for the first time as a foreigner coming from a country that prides itself on its global awareness.
Put down the National Geographic, turn off the World Vision advert, and get your ass to Africa. You will not find women as beautiful, tribes as proud, or skies with as many stories as you will here. The black night gives ‘reach for the stars’ a realm of possibility all while the fading blues of the afternoon skies hypnotize as they meet the clear waters of falls, deltas, and seas.
For the non-judgement of my colour
For the smiles never hidden
For the landscape un-developed
For allowing nature’s giants to roam free
For sharing your history
For aspiring to inspiring futures
For the biltong
For the stars that illuminate the night sky
For the roar of falls and crickets near lakes
For finding contentment in simplicity
For the pride your people carry
For bringing your visitors together in awe
Not for the dirt roads…
For preserving ancient treasures
For every shade of dusk and dawn
For the unpolluted air
And great coffee beans
Thank you, Africa.