Monday, March 12, 2007
...I suddenly remember, I'm moving to Africa!
This picture is currently in residence on my fridge. And every time I walk into the kitchen I notice it and suddenly remember that I'm moving to Africa.
The shot was taken when we had just reached the outlying villages around Bamako, in Mali, after a very sweaty, dusty journey made unbearable by really bad corrugations forcing us to go as slow as 25 mph or fear rattling our own teeth loose from our jaws.
We saw a passing rental 4x4 pass us with a smoking tyre. They'd shredded it without realising, and didn't know how to change it, so our little mini convoy stopped to help.
As is usual on the African roadside, where there was noone, suddenly within minutes we had the whole village's kids surrounding us. Whilst others concentrated on mundane yet essential tasks like changing tyres, I brought the camera out and had a delightful 10 minutes playing with the kids as I shot some pictures. I showed them the results on the display afterwards and they laughed their heads off at recognising eachother. And not one of them asked for anything. No bics, no cadeaux, no money, no nothing. We just all had a laugh. Which was very welcome and a huge relief after all the nastiness that had occurred in Mauritania a week before and the hassle we'd had with the border formalities at Nioro.
So every time I see this picture it reminds me of how friendly our entry into sub-Saharan Africa felt on this last trip.
A second later, time enough for my heart to skip a beat, I remember I'm actually moving there. Next month.
at 3:09 pm