reddirtlattes/ April 22, 2011/ Uncategorized/ 4 comments

I am asked all the time what it was like to live in Africa. Not a day goes by that I don’t ache to one day live there again, explore it again, perhaps the west, or south, which surprises me, as life was not easy and I was happy to go when the time came. But Africa seduces you, claims you, even if unaware. Something about living there gets into your cells, takes hold, settles, then tugs. I watched this with my husband after his very difficult three years in a small Kenyan village. When he finally came home, he came home different, and I knew the moment I saw him he’d left something behind that we’d have to one day go and find.

Living in Africa, you are so close to the root–it is the root of humanity–you go home in a way. You feel free, alive, awake, connected to the source. But as an ex-patriot, (those born and raised there have their own claim and story), you are also like an outlaw, a pioneer, outside of time and constraint. You are the “other,” the one’s who’s different, who doesn’t really belong, so you start to question if even the laws need apply to you. I saw so many expats living on the edge, grabbing the reins and feeling they were at the abyss. You live like you could never do back home and there is a danger of walking too far over that edge and of exploiting the very thing that has pulled you in, which allows you to truly test your morality and ethicality. You get to  learn who you really are and what you are capable of, for good or bad.

And you do it all against the backdrop of great beauty and people who will teach you the true meaning of joy and suffering, if you let them.

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  1. I have chills after reading your piece on life in Africa. Your words completely resonate with me, Sabrina, and remind me of my years living in Kenya. ‘so close to the roots of humanity,’ – So true. Beautiful.
    xo mindi

  2. Wow you see…simply beautiful…perfect picture and prose! Says it all. So proud!

  3. i’ve heard this said before, but very beautifully put by you. i have only been (3 times) not lived there. but i can understand your words exactly. it is definetly in my blood too. i love it there.

  4. You have totally written what I have been thinking, only I am not quite there yet. I wonder how I will feel when I leave but I imagine the tug will be quite strong. I feel the same way : “free, alive, awake, connected to the source.” Yet at the same time I know that Africa is not where my future lies. Still I believe that once you have lived in Africa you are changed forever. This is a subject that will haunt me as I prepare to move to a place that could not be more opposite. Thanks for these words.

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