6/9/09

AFRICA


What a magical word! Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen) started her well known novel "Out of Africa" with the words - I had a farm in Africa. What suspense those few words create, what magical meaning they have. What promise they hold! Africa. William Shakespeare wrote in Henry IV (part 2, 1597, act 5, sc. 5,1. (52)) "I speak of Africa and golden joys." Golden joys!
They say in Africa we have the most beautiful sunsets due to the dust in the air. I do not know if that is true - but we do certainly do have lovely sunsets! This picture was taken in Mpumalanga, South Africa on our way to our tent in the bush during one of our holidays.
Rome wanted Africa because of everything Africa promised. Slaves (healthy, big and strong people), animals, gold, food! Pliny the elder wrote (AD 23 - 79) "Semper aliquid novi Africam adferre." (Africa brings us always something new.)
What makes Africa different from any other country in the world is the atmosphere. Travel to any African destination and you will feel the atmosphere. We have beautiful nature, lovely animals and wonderful people.
To those who have never travelled here - the word AFRICA conjures up images of adventure, sunshine and expectation. To those who have been here - they always long to come back. See, so much have been taken from Africa over the ages that this old, savage country revels in taking back something, without you even knowing that you have given. It creeps into your blood and being and it whispers to your soul for the rest of your days to return to Africa. It makes you restless with longing and impatient with order.
I can understand Derek Walcott's dilemma when he wrote in 1962 "I who have cursed the drunken officer of British rule, how choose between this Africa and the English tongue I love?" (From: A Far Cry from Africa.)
Our people have a haunted look of freedom in our eyes, a spirit of wildness and joy - because this is Africa's gift to her children and curse to the peregrini (foreigners). If once you have lived here or visited here - you will always long to be here. If you have not been here you will always wonder and wish ...
What a happy few can echo Karen Blixen's words: I had a farm in Africa ... What a privilege.
Have a nice day my dear reader.

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