Mar 23, 2008
I dream about the Tuareg dressed in blue clothes navigating the Sahara, trading salt, the same way for over a thousand years
. I dream about the haggling at Mopti, Mali, where North Africa meets the South. Visions straight out of Star Wars only real. The Dogon people in there mountain homes. I dream about the haunted presence of Ghana's fortresses where people awaited the western passage. Evils almost unimaginable to my mind. I dream of cats lying in the Serengeti. I want to see wildebeests migrating across rivers with crocodiles patient in waters where Darwin's law still applies. I want to meet the children of East Africa dying of preventable illnesses that never make the news. I never want to forget it. I want to feel the instability of these new democracies and the passion of its people for fairness and change. I want to see an old religion in the below ground streets of Lalibela. A faith unchanged by time. I could go on forever. I'm restless.
I've endured my first true winter in five years. I'm back in the Ozarks, idle in my parents attic, plotting the next year of my life. A year in the 'dark continent,' but from everything I have read it seems to be the most luminous place on earth. Africa has more land mass on the equator than any other continent on Earth. Intense heat reaching in the 130's paralysing everything to a crawl while the sun is high. This is going to be a year spent in cheap hostel beds, third world buses packed beyound belief, colorful markets with strange smells, and countless random encounters when I am the most lost. Twelve months plus with a crude itinerary to be changed over and over with no certain course exept down the west coast and up the east, done all by public transportation. No white Land Rovers and no packaged safari experience. From A to B like a local with the locals.