Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Where do all the animals belong?

  Surely you must have guessed by now that this is my story. These were my experiences from many years ago. I lived them then, but remember them now. A new tale to tell for you my readers. 

    My first taste of the darker underbelly of the Africa of my dreams slowly faded and was replaced by suburbia. Dry scrub gave way to shopping plazas and gated communities. Manicured lawns and familiar fast food restaurants set my vision on its head yet again. Surely lions and elephants did not graze  through KFC's parking lot? Would ostriches bury their heads beside a mall's receiving area? And one could not imagine vultures perched atop walls with broken glass embedded into them to discourage scavenging trespassers. Where was I? Barbed wire seemed to be everywhere. It's presence bespoke anger, mistrust and violence. I wondered how much anger I would encounter in this land that held a past checkered with racial intolerances buried so deep into it's psyche. While mild, I sensed these tensions in my new-found relatives. My uncle kept his opinion in check, perhaps knowing that I might find the ingrown racism distasteful. I sensed it and appreciated it. It was such a far cry from the multicultural world I had left mere hours ago. While I chided myself to think that there were no prejudices back home, I knew that they were not as outwardly apparent or severe as here. What would I find and how would I process the differences in act and thought that I would come across? I watched the world glide by my window. Home seemed like an eternity away.


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