Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Million Places: Farwell Zambia

A Million Places

One never really says goodbye to Africa; it simply lives on in your heart. Somehow it captures the very best and worst of the human condition; its immensity and complexity is enough to keep one fascinated for a lifetime. Flying home we passed over the great rivers of its central heart, the dense tropical forests, the geometrics of its sand dunes, the length of its coasts, and knew that there is no other place quite like it. It stretches the human imagination and then pulls at it again in the quiet moments of memory.

In September 2005 National Geographic did a special issue on Africa; it contained a section on Zambia and is a helpful resource for those interested (www.ngm.com). These quotes struck me:

“Africa isn’t really a place; it’s a million places. Its history is as deep as Precambrian bedrock, its landscapes more diverse than those of any other continent on the planet.”

“If you stand on an anthill almost anywhere in rural Zambia, it feels as if the trees and grass and land must go on forever, at least as far as it would be possible to walk in a day or two.”

“Given what’s at stake, African particulars deserve special attention from the rest of the world. Africa’s glories and successes deserve special attention too. Despite all travails, African peoples produce magnificent art, graceful cultures, terrific music, great works of the mind, and astonishing acts of political and moral courage.”

No comments: