24-10-2008 by Freddie del Curatolo
Sometimes, in Africa, even the misadventures have a happy ending.
Some will hardly believe it, but you can lose, no petrol, no money, no cell phone in the middle of the bush and be able to return home without a scratch, thanks to the humanity of the local population.
It 'happened to Aldo V. Como original Italian, which for years has a villa in Malindi where usual "winter".
The other morning he left the house with his jeep, direct to breakfast. Who knows what was going through your mind, observing the green African reality, but decided to take a stroll a bit 'longer than usual.
Malindi has taken the road that leads north to Lamu. The perfect weather, the road surface in good condition, the beautiful nature around, baobabs and palms reverent in its path, ancestral gestures mama villagers and students in uniform walk for kilometers, between the village and the school.
Aldo the day must have seemed magnificent, far from relaxing routine but also a bit 'boring of Malindi pensioner: always the same bar, cappuccino with brioche, the usual cheerful faces to greet.
A dream of peace and quiet, for a contemporary Italian, maybe lost in traffic and in the cold of the metropolis. But in him there is used, the human desire to escape is lurking. So Aldo follows the paved road that paradise, beat two checkpoints, pass the junction of Garsen and pointing to Garissa, a town between the known world and the Somali desert, the border between the wild national parks, where they meet lions and elephants , and nothing in hand to the nomadic tribes Pokomo and Rendille.
We are more than four hundred kilometers from Malindi, but Aldo now travels on a bumpy dirt road, where you meet only animals in the wild and around a hundred kilometers, a truck out of service or a driver changing a wheel. The pensioner travels Como and with him his thoughts, ranging free and happy. Until, inevitably, it fails gasoline off road. The machine stops in the middle of nowhere. Around only African wildlife noises, specimens are often unknown to us "Wazungu", white men. And 'being away from organized safari, just hatched from local maps.
Soon it will come down in the evening, which in this part of the world, just below the equator (which if it were a plank in the sky as they draw, would at least Shadow) covers everything like a black cloak around six in the evening. There is a white man, no longer young, who does not speak a word of English and Swahili. No money and no phone. It looks like a movie, and it probably is: is his personal feature, the one in which he plays the part of an Italian quiet that is lost in the middle of Black Africa and with the serenity and the recklessness of those who happened to be almost predestined , he knows that everything will be fine.
He not so however for the wife of Aldo from a few hours is looking for him everywhere in Malindi. He warned first the Italian consul Roberto Macri, who responded immediately by organizing the research of local police and warned all branch offices of the Malindi District.
In the afternoon, the lack of feedback makes him think that it is better to extend the warning to all of Kenya.
Between Garissa and Nairobi, sporadically we note the presence of it shifts, dangerous Somali bandits who attack vehicles or lonely motorists. For this were set up checkpoints and the phenomenon has been isolated, but sometimes to cross this desolate part of Kenya is advisable to take on board an armed policeman.
Clearly our hero has renounced it, and now he is alone.
Anyone could take advantage of him. Its off-road would entice many, an illegal panacea for the extreme poverty of the inhabitants of those regions, and for truckers and smugglers passing through. In the distance, dusty spot that could be either a herd of buffalo or small tornado, check a truck where a man is at the edge of the dirt road with an innocent expression that seems to say: "I've been waiting for."
They do not need words, just look at it and the two occupants of the enormous metal elephant extract long and powerful chords from the compartment and stick to off-road. Slowly, while the sky colors of muted hues landscape and the scorching heat subsides, the strange convoy reached the village of Mwingi. We are five hundred kilometers from Malindi. Aldo is brought to the local police station where, after everyone's amazement, it does well in the duty. Phone calls to the headquarters in Nairobi, alerted by the Italian consul in Malindi, also reach their late evening.
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