Home Thoughts from Abroad

This week I am back in my home continent of Europe. I am fortunate enough to be sharing my one week out of Africa with many of my nearest friends as the couple dearest to me tie the knot on the sunny Spanish island of Majorca. 

Lusaka Airport Construction

The appropriately named contractor at Lusaka Airport

Once those cabin doors close (admittedly a much delayed process in Lusaka airport) Africa immediately feels a world away. As your senses adjust to the sleek modernity of Terminal 5  and the sheer speed of London life – the sights, sounds and smells of the continent seem to fall away with equal haste.

Somebody recently remarked to me that they were comforted by the sun as they felt it signified a shared human experience. From Africa to the rest of the world, we all fall asleep under the same setting sun. My brief return to Europe has reminded me that Venus and Mars also share that same sun as to be honest that is how removed my African life feels from my European one this week.

To walk the endless aisles of the local hypermarket and marvel at the sheer scale and variety of products on offer, to be uncomfortably conscious of  enjoying the consumerism in which we envelop our lives but to implicitly understand that it is the very scale of this consumerism that keeps the wheels of our ‘developed’ European economies turning. It is all a stark reminder of just how far apart these two continents have drifted and how different the daily realities of so many of their inhabitants are.

I don’t want overstate the point here – of course there are big shops in Lusaka and of course I enjoy an incredibly fortunate life on both continents – yet I remain humbly aware at how incapable I am of drawing a line between the two places, of digging up the experiences and feelings that confront me on a daily basis in Africa and trying to find meaning to them here, feeling literally a world away.

I can only hope that when time comes for me to return home for good next year, they will have embedded themselves a bit deeper and thus prove a little easier for me to take the learnings from.

2 Responses to “Home Thoughts from Abroad”
  1. housemates says:

    great blog berk! Angelo is awaiting your book about life and its moments. the Mediterranean sea will always be broad. Just enjoy the now there, and will get your thoughts straightened once your back on the continent where the line between hope and despair seems to be ever thin.
    Cheers from Lusaka, awaiting your return.

  2. Quitionna says:

    Excellent article, great looking website, added it to my favorites.

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