Today is a good day to be in Africa

Today is a good day to be in Africa
October 22, 2011

Today is a good day to be in Africa. Sitting in a bus leaving Mbale district on my way to the small rural community of Bulambuli, in north eastern Uganda, it strikes me how really true it is that “Africa is richest continent in the world”.

Sun ripened banana trees in this God-endowed rain-abundant country of golden (cheap!) fruits and tall sunflowers greet me as the bus speeds by. Rolling hills, deep ripe river-studded valleys and green expanses as far as the eye can see meet my gaze wherever I turn. The surrounding Elgon Mountain range, circling the entire Mbale region, offers the perfect backdrop to this idyllic scene. Men coming out of round-shaped mud huts, women bent cultivating between cotton rows and youth cycling away go by as if this was the most natural scene in the world. The beauty of the green-tree lined imposing mountains, the green healthy fields, the green insides of happily fed goats and cows lazily chewing on greens pastures… the beauty of the green everywhere against the radiant clear blue of the sky is indescribable. A feast for the eyes.

A wide smile spreads over my face at seeing a child, half naked trotting on his two tiny feet to chase a duck at the daily market, under the watchful eyes of his mother.

Not long after, another heart-warming scene, a man meticulously pounding on a pile of rocks breaking one rock at a time into small pieces, sweat beginning to soak his brow. He sits beneath a sheet of cloth suspended using 4 long sticks pinned to the ground, but it hardly helps. There are about five more stone piles behind him. You can just tell he plans to be there until lunch, when his wife calls him in perhaps.

I close my eyes and can almost see the other invisible villages, off the road, nested at the foot of the beautiful mountains, their residents also carrying on with their daily lot, their children playing in the rich red sand, old men sitting under the large tree drinking tea, bearing any hardship faced in their stride.

News of Colonel Moamar Ghadaffi’s death just came in. On the local paper this morning, we saw pictures of the boy who shot the president for life or so he thought Ghaddafi. Pictures of his blood-soaked corpse are shocking, but that is the fate of men who thought themselves eternal. I hope his friend Museveni here, along with all the other tenacious dinosaur presidents across Africa (Wade, Biya, Mugabe and the Bongos), see the writing on the wall. And leave while the restlessness from within and impatience for change is still containable. The Arab spring is at Every African country’s door.

Right next to me on the bus, the hearty laugh and heart-felt smile of my Ugandan neighbor, fellow African child of this rich land, privy to its simple beauties and lived sorrows, brings me off my cloud and out of my reverie, inspired by the scenery around me. Every thing in him invites me to his world. A new friend awaits to be made.
Today is a good day to be in Africa.

~ by afrooptimism on October 23, 2011.

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