Mal d'Afrique

MAL D'AFRIQUE

My own Africa

"The trip does not simply open your mind: it gives it a shape" (B. Chatwin)

29-08-2016 by Matilde Calamai

As soon as the aircraft doors open and you climb down the steps until touching the african land, in Mombasa, you inevitably feel the magic. 
The air seems sweeter, you smell something unknown, maybe of faraway lands and, for sure, the heavenly light is the thing which mostly attracts you.
It is in that very moment that "mal d'Afrique" starts building its nest into yourself, like a virus. You don't realize that immediately because this ancient place enters slowly until becoming a crazy love you will never forget.
During my trips across this marvellous corner of the world, I saw people getting crazy, leaving away everything and starting again a new life.
It may appear unbelievable when reading this on a website page, but I can assure it is not a dream, an invented tale to attract readers, it's really true.
Many people leave their job, their securities and everything they own to live in this magical land.
Whereas in Italy, like in Europe, people work hard to survive well (although it seems a contradiction as they don't die of hunger), in Africa you can invent and start from zero any kind of activity.
Those who move to Africa, besides working to own their living, they can even help local people offering them a job or simply giving them economical support.
Once I reached Kenya, I was impressed by the landscape. It was exactly that one you dream of when, stressed by the job and our consuming (and unnecessary, I would add) society pressures, you close your eyes and try to imagine how is paradise.
Of course, you will soon cross with the people's poverty as you see they live in mud shanties, they built with a huge effort.
Men must have many children to feel themselves masculine and prove they are «real men», and no matter if there's not enough food and proper conditions for growing small creatures, it's essential to have many of them.  And what about if they die? They will reply you "it's life".
We can't judge or try to understand because they have a different way of considering life and we have to respect it.
We are afraid of anything different, and this is a fact, but we should try to understand and respect this people. If you help someone who has not asked for your help, you don't do good to the other one but only to yourself, with the illusion of doing something good. 
So, you have to walk to this land on tiptoes and try to understand their real needs, their mentality. All things a tourist can't be aware of.
Travelling, exploring the world is like sounding out our inner worlds... so, I can only wish you to have a nice journey. 

TAGS: Matilde CalamaiChatwinMy own Africa

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