Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Back to Africa

I'm heading back to Africa for the first time in over a year this summer. I can't wait! My wife, son and I are flying into Jozie before heading up through Bots and in Zed. We may venture into Zims but that will depend on the 'situation.' I would like to see how things have changed in the three years since I was last there. I know it'll be heartwrenching and I'll hear dreadful stories about peopleI've known well. The trouble is that when we used to travel to Bulawayo regualrly we had a bakkie but this time we will be relying on buses and lifts from friends. If we do go the Bulawayo then we have to have maize meal, sugar, cooking oil, salt etc. The people need these commodoties more than anything.

Everywhere we go I will be armed with my camera. I want to take hundreds of pics to publish with the stories that go with them. One of my regrets about my time living in Bots is that I never took enough photos. I will take photos of development as well as poverty; of people happy and prosperous as well as poor and repressed. The negative images of Africa that the Western media peddles sicken me. Of course there is poverty, sickness and repression across the continent but this is the only image of Africa most Europeans/North Americans have. I love showing my students at school pictures of modern Johannesburg and asking them where in the world do they think this city might be? New York, Chicago, Rome or Berlin are common responses. When I tell them that it's Johannesburg in South Africa their jaws drop!

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