This is Africa

Only a few days to go until our adventure ends. The time has passed so quickly, I can’t believe it’s almost over. I think we all are filled with mixed emotions. We are looking forward to seeing our families & friends again but at the same time a bit sad because this adventure is almost over.

One thing that has been a pleasant surprise is how well we are all getting along. Diego and I knew each other pretty well before but we did not know duncan-and-the-crewChristian that well so there was always just a hint of a doubt of how it was going to go. We have pretty much spent 24/7 together over the past four weeks and it hasn’t been a problem. Coughing Christian, Riyad the Bear and Dexter Diego are all getting along quite well and I think we’re going to miss each other.

We have met some amazing people here in Nairobi. One thing I would say is that there are not a lot of boring people in Nairobi. The ex-pat community definitely live here for a reason. Despite the rampant corruption and sometimes difficult living conditions there is an excitement here. “This is Africa” was something said in the movie Blood Diamond and for all of us it now has so much meaning. “This is Africa” can mean the frustration and anger you feel when you see how debilitating the corruption of the governments can be. It also represents the heartbreak you sometimes feel when you see the poverty and living conditions. But “This is Africa” is also the sheer joy you can experience from the warmth of the people. “This is Africa” is the excitement and adventure that is possible around every corner and the potential you see in the people and the country. All of these things together and simply put, “This is Africa”.

The past week has been mainly focused on picking up footage we may have missed and it has been a more relaxed week. It has allowed us some time to just capoeirahang out at the centre. Diego has become a favourite with the little ones and I’ve been teaching a few people Capoiera. There are a few guys we’ve met that have really made an impression but one in particular is Duncan. Duncan is twenty-five and now the art director for the centre. He is an amazing artist and just a fantastic guy. He, like so many, has not had it easy but now is so eager to learn. Anything we teach him he picks up in a flash. I’ve been giving him so photography lessons and within a few days he pictures were really incredible. Diego taught him this sort of jumping/ dancing-gamedancing game and he got it in about five minutes. We all think the world of him and genuinely consider him a friend.

So just a few days to go and it is the end of the adventure. I hope you are still enjoying the experience with us.

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4 responses

  1. A good read as always. Have you had the pleasure of experiencing “Africa Time” yet? It would seem that the normal constraints of the 9 – 5 seem to have missed Africa by. If you are working on Africa time then the only thing you need to guide you is the sun. You may as well throw away your watch. The only downside to this is that unless you are carrying a sundial you’re going to have a margin of error of ±2hrs. This has become a generally accepted method of timekeeping in large parts of Africa.

    February 16, 2009 at 10:44 am

  2. Afshan

    looks like you all had an adventure…love the hopefulness and light that you see.
    thanks for sharing. afshan

    February 16, 2009 at 11:19 am

  3. Agatha Schwager

    Hello Riyad,
    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, it feels like I am almost there myself that way. It is going to be a super documentary, I can feel that already. So much joy for the children, that the three of you are there, giving them hope to succeed themselves in the future by doing this filming with them.
    Hug some of them for me, I am sure you can do that with your natural understanding of children.
    Love from agatha

    February 18, 2009 at 11:12 am

  4. Jamil

    Sounds great that you have had time to forge friendships while you are there. I am sure the memories and the emotions experienced over the past month will be conveyed and felt in the final film. Can’t wait to see the trailer!!

    February 19, 2009 at 3:40 am

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