On Wednesday, in Mexico, I got an email – ‘This is last minute, but might you be able to travel with us to Africa?’
Today, Saturday, three days later, I am sitting in Newark airport, waiting for my connecting flight to Brussels and then on to Nairobi.
So, needless to say, getting myself packed, vaccinated, malaria pilled and ready to go took up much of the previous 72 hrs. I was able, in the midst, to get an old hardback copy of Out of Africa to bring with me on the trip. When I travel I like to be able to read something related to the place I’m going. I’ve never even seen Out of Africa, but it comes highly recommended, so it seemed like a good fit.
I also had a recommendation for Ngugi wa Thiong’o – a Kenyan author. Given my timeframe I wasn’t able to find a book copy of it, but did manage to download the audiobook. I’ve begun both on this first leg of my journey, from Orange County to Newark.
It’s a fairly startingly contrast, even this early in, of which story, or whose story, is being told – the story of the albeit sympathetic, but still colonizer? Or the colonized?
Who are the savages?
Who are the squatters?
These, of course, are not new questions – not new issues. I am not the first, nor will I be the last, to raise them. But the multiple narratives are something I’m hoping to hold as I continue on in this journey – something I take with me as I enter in to my part of the story.