A Night In Africa

Here there were no Lions; there were no colossal Elephants or Laughing Hyenas. Peace and Life were the only present existence here. Unlike those movies that depicted Africa as a ravaged or desolate land, this current Africa I was in was bright and full of life. Right from the moment I stepped onto this estranged land, I somehow felt immediately connected to mother earth. I had come here for adventure instead I was handed more than I had bargained for. To begin describing Africa, and its people was an extremely difficult task, how could I explain the joy I got when an African Child I had handed a bag of rice smiled joylessly at me, how could I explain the feeling I got when a mother thanked me endlessly for two days because, I had given her son the antidote for the killer- disease called Malaria. I always wondered what other people thought about Africa, did they think of it has a place full of misfits or has a place home to Mother Nature; I hope the latter. The African woman to me was perfectly everything I had read about during my college years in my history class. She had a grace I had never seen or could have imagined. She embodied Motherhood, her well braided hair seemed to have been planted on her head, and her perfectly dark skin shone brighter whenever the sun found her body. I had read about how wild Africa was, but I had not experienced any of it since I arrived here, and still I was contented about my trip so far. Sure there was no light or constant water were I stayed, but there was a certain peace I felt, all of those social amenities did not bother me, all I wanted was more of the joy I was experiencing. I remember visiting a family in a nearby village; I was treated with a very strange but sumptuous meal. I remember how the family would come out by night and how the Pa (the father of the house) would captivate his little children with African Folk Tales. These stories always seemed to have some sought of spell on his children because their eyes seemed to pop out with excitement. I enjoyed every story I listened to, there was this story about a Tortoise and Lion and at the end of the story, I remember the children laughing hard at how the tortoise had outwitted the big and ferocious lion. These stories made my heart heavy because I thought of how this family seemed to love each other, this love had never experienced. I asked myself why this family was so content with their little hut, their little farm, and their little beds. Why were they happy with having not a thing in the world, they had no expensive car, no expensive clothes? Then I realized how much life back home was different and fast, back home everybody had no time to really appreciate life. We worked hard to live comfortable lives for ourselves and our family. The smiles I saw on these African faces were absent from where I came from. Sure, these African people had problems, but they still had time for their traditions which was appreciating everything Mother Nature had given them. Back home most of us went to the mall to get almost all of our food; all the African Families I met planted and harvested all their foods. They may not look it, but these people weere more much healthier they I could ever be. I had an opportunity to meet with the oldest person in the village I stayed in, she was 103 years old, still she worked day and night on her farm, and I remember her grand children telling me why she was still strong. They told me she had never missed working on her farm even for a single day. They also told me the gods had blessed her with divine strength and health. In my Mind I thought about those old people back home, at age 67 most of them stopped working, they looked weak and feeble. Before I left Africa I was exposed to a night of pure bliss, this night was extremely special to the village I was in. It was called the Night of the green Mambas, it was night of rituals, a night when they thanked Mother Nature for their Good living and Good Soil. The night started off with bountiful amount of different varieties of foods, then a dance occurred in which a little boy danced with a full grown Mamba. The little boy danced like he was possessed by the god of perfect harmony, the snake he was holding seemed to follow his every move without trying to bite him. After this dance, everybody stood up to dance to a flute played by the town crier. The villagers urged me to dance with them, I resisted at first, but I was urged persistently by a little girl. As I started moving my body to the tune of the flute, I suddenly felt like I was possessed by an unknown spirit. For hours I danced like I had never danced before, like I was enchanted with the deadly venom of a mamba. I will never forget that night, the night I lost my timidity, the night I danced like a green Mamba. Oh Africa, some days I wish I had never left you, I wish I was back with you, back with Mother Nature, right in her arms.

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