Let's face it - think of Africa, and the first images that come to mind are of war, poverty, famine and flies. How many of us really know anything at all about the truly great ancient African civilizations, which in their day, were just as splendid and glorious as any on the face of the earth?
- Henry Louis Gates
And so starts the beginning of a new adventure; back to the continent that has (figuratively) gotten into my blood since my first extended visit! I didn’t think I’d make it back to Africa quite as soon as this, but it was a seriously exciting feeling to open this blog back up again. With the reflection and hindsight of a year, blogging seems ever as indulgent and exhibitionist as before (I feel the need to undermine and hence excuse the medium before proceeding in my articulations scruple-free), but I do maintain that this space is an awesome way of putting thought to paper – so to speak – and also of informing you all of what’s been going on for me in my wanderings.
Since my trip at the beginning of the year to the incredible country of Uganda, so much has happened in life for me (obviously; almost 52 weeks of straight happenings), but the place has remained as present in my thoughts as it was before, and I felt I needed an excuse to get to (the region if not) the country as soon as possible. And so a steady feeling of excitement settled in when I booked tickets with a very close friend of mine, Ansy-B (or Anna Brown), and knew I had some more African adventures in store.
For those of you who read this blog last time, you may recall mention of my reluctance to travel back to Uganda for fear of trying to recreate a [beautiful parenthesis] of times past. And so this time, the capacity in which I’ll be travelling – I’ll have one seriously lovely companion - , and places I’ll be visiting are different. And hopefully I’ll be able to revisit beautiful memories, and also make some new ones in different places. In short: I’ll have New Year’s eve on the beach in Kenya, will go back to Uganda for a few weeks, to touch bases with the NGO I worked for last summer, and then head on to South Africa, to intern for a different organization.
(see South African NGO here: http://sasdialliance.org.za/)
I chose the above quote as I thought it an appropriate comment on my mindset at the moment. In explanation: in part, I am very passionate about contributing to some sort of mitigation (no matter how minor) of the “war, poverty, famine” – maybe not the flies – present in Africa. But also, what has really drawn me back to the continent was the positivity of my first experience there; more the splendour and glory, rather than the aforementioned grievances.
This post is just a short, informational one to set the scene and context, but I’ll try to write as often as possible. Better than various emails to different groups and individuals, and a real pleasure for me. I hope it's pleasant reading!