Africa, please don’t change

Africa, for the past three months I travelled your golden and hot continent. By truck, boat, car and foot. You left me in love!

Africa, don’t try to be something you’re not. Don’t long to become the consumer society where I come from, where each one only cares about himself.

In you, I found the connection to Nature.

There are those who call you names. Where I’m from they say you are under-developed, poor, full of misery. But I say, you have in you the greatest riches.

Stay as you are.

Please don’t change.

Your people live above your hot soil at their leisure, at their pace. They are simple people who still live with Nature and look after one another.

I wonder about the scars that your colonizers, some of them my ancestors, left you. The wounds that still haven’t healed.

Maybe I am being unfair to those you raised. But I wish nothing changed, because what I saw was the greatest treasure I ever laid eyes on.

To watch the wildlife in the Masaai Mara, in Ngorongoro and Serengueti, South Luangwa, Chobe, Etosha, to travel the Okavango Delta by mokoro, to walk on the beaches of Zanzibar, to watch and feel the impressive Victoria Falls, climb atop the dunes of Namíbia, to climb down Table Mountain, watch the majestic whales off the shores of Hermanus, diving in Mozambique and being in awe by the colors of the fish and the sea… And more, so much more made me feel happy, alive, thankful and blessed.

I hope your people can live better, but don’t let them lose the roots of their ethic cultures and their connection to Nature. Don’t let their smile be taken from their faces.

This is Africa. A sunset beyond words. A night under the stary sky in the Savannah. The peacefulness of a Delta full of vegetation. A hot afternoon trying to spot your biggest treasures: giraffes, wildebeest, lions, hippos, zebras, buffalos, crocodiles, impalas… Looking to the quiet Savannah and believing everything is possible. To watch the beauty all around us.

Thank you for letting me come to you.

Don’t change, Africa!

I leave with the certainty that I want to come back, and with the added responsibility that knowing that we have to fight for our planet to stay like this: simply beautiful!

Margarida

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