Monday, April 18, 2011

End In Sight

I have about one week left in my trans African Adventure, before we are expected to reach Cape Town and the end of the line for me, on this adventure. Five in a half months later, 15 countries, and 25,000 kms covered, I look back at another journey in my life, another chapter, and can't believe everything that I experienced.

The trip has been like a semester long course, of African studies. Our truck being not only our transportation and our lifeline, but a time machine, that took us across harsh terrain, terrible roads, dangerous countries, and back in time to an period when man still lived in mud huts and stick houses, walked around barefoot, had no running water or electricity, and no cars or even domesticated animals.

It would actually be an amazing course that a university could offer. An African studies course for 6 months, where a group of students along with a professor, travel across the entire African continent, the same way we did, not flying over troubled areas or difficult roads, but to drive through the heart of every country we passed, and experience places that are rarely seen by outsiders. It's the only way to get a well rounded idea about what it is truely like to be African, to really understand what the word poverty, corruption, struggle, and hope really mean.

At the end of their trip, they could try their luck at writing their own thesis about the future of Africa, something many writers have tried to tackle and yet have solved.

What is my thesis? Africa is one hell of an interesting and beautiful place to travel across. A place I don't judge for where they are now, but who they are inside. A place every person should experience at some point in their lives. For any reason you can think of, because it's impossible to leave Africa, the same person you came.

What is my opinion on Africa and all it's troubles. Let Africa be Africa. Every civilization since the beginning of mankind has had growing pains. While African problems are plentiful and their road to a better life is a long uphill climb, getting into their business and forcing them to live their lives the way you want them to, will only make things worse.

Through all the civil wars, corrupted governments betraying them, and enslavement from foreign powers, if you travel through even the poorest of the African countries, you will realize something inspiring,really happy people.

Kids running happily down the streets,pushing only an old bike tire, one of their favorite games. Adults working in the field 14 hours a day and still waving to you as you drive by, and whole towns greeting you when you pass through. Some of the warmiest hospitality we recieved, was in towns that had nothing. But what is nothing? Is there a price tag on happiness?

While everyone is busy trying to fix Africa's problems, some even at the same time trying to exploit them for their resources, they should be instead learning something from them.

That even in a harsh lifestyle where tomorrow isn't guaranteed, a level of income and level of healthcare at the bottom of the list, involved in an war against AIDS, that effects a high percentatge of every countries population, live in fear of a mosquito that kills a million Africans a year, they still manage to be happy, friendly to foreigners, proud of their culture, and positive about their future.

To find this you only have to visit the heart and soul of Africa and visit places outside national parks, outside five star hotels, outside the major dirty, overpopulated, and dangerous African cities that you fear, and what the world media and foreigners love to discribe as dangerous lawless places full of savages, and experience the small villages, yet corrupted by material wealth, modern technology, and loss of hope.

When David Livingstone, an explorer who discovered Victoria Falls and explored Africa for the British Empire died, his body was shipped back to England to be given a hero's burial, but as requested before his death, his heart was cut out and buried under am African Banya tree.

They say mankind originally came from Africa. Our ancestors hundreds of thousands of years ago, evolved and migrated to other parts of the world, and now take the many different forms, skin colors, complexities, and personalities that we have today. Why are most of us so interested in Africa? Maybe because it was originally home to all of us.


  1. Hi there,

    My name is Amy and I am signed up for this trip next year... I wanted to say thank you so much for writing the blog. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading of your experiences and following your adventure!

  2. Wow, Brian, what an experience you've had! Thanks for sharing it. Maybe I'll see you back in AK soon.

  3. Truly brilliant the scope of the things you have experienced on this trip. I am truly envious of your sense of adventure and would love to read a book sometime of your many adventures. If I were closer to AK I would surely love to come by and hear some of the stories for myself.