Thursday, 11 October 2007

Africa


What Mary L A said

Africa punches the shit out of us. That is why I live here. It keeps me Third World, it keeps me human. Fighting to stay alive and help others stay alive.



Driving through the pouring rain back from my personal doctor, who had syringed my ears so that I could hear again. Grumbling at the traffic in mile-long streams while I, warm and cosy inside my black wool witch's shawl, scowl at the pedestrians trudging through the mud and streams of water on the roadside.

Worrying about the fact that I left my dogs outside in the garden. Going to the bright, sleek hypermarket for soup greens and oats and picking up some rolls on an impulse. My Gods- I am super rich in Africa.

The squatter camp we pass represents the upper crust of the poor- shacks constructed from scrap wood and corrugated iron, letting all the rain in.
And I, complaining, while a car guard leaps out at me and holds an umbrella over my head, in case I melt in the rain.

The smiles from underneath the thrown away plastic wrapping of some rich person's (like me!) toys serve to keep the rain off the head of those without car, without solid house, without employment which they enjoy every minute of.

Africa challenges us, all right.
I wouldn't live anywhere else on this Earth.