An ending

It has been almost exactly a month since I left Africa, flying first from Johannesburg back to Dar for one last round of goodbyes, and then onwards from there.

It already feels like a dream.  The first time I saw a giraffe. The way Lake Malawi glimmers as the sun sets. Touring Kigali on the back of a motorbike.   Watching the world spin below me from the top of Kilimanjaro. Shivering next to a pool of boiling lava in the Congo. Drinking red wine and eating pizza and talking books at Saverios Restaurant in Dar.  An afternoon with a family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda.  The dusty red roads of Kampala.  Kissing a giraffe in Nairobi.  The Tanzanian line dance on my 30th birthday.  Christmas in Ethiopia.  Swimming in a waterfall in Madagascar.  Laughing until I cried in Maputo.

These things that I know to be true.  The sunset is most spectacular in Zimbabwe, the sky most beautiful in Madagascar, the water most blue off the coast of Tanzania.  Maputo has the best egg tarts, Dar the best Indian food, Ethiopia the best coffee.  On a good day, it takes 24 hours to drive 400 kilometres in Madagascar, 15 hours to cover the same distance in Malawi, 12 hours in Tanzania, anybody’s guess in Mozambique.

There are good people everywhere, more parts happiness than sadness.  One day, a child in Goma smiled at me and gave me a piece of lava, from the volcanic eruption that destroyed his family home.  I carry it in my purse. Another day, a woman sitting beside me on a long bus ride bought me some bananas, a piece of manioc, and a bag of peanuts.  She didn’t speak English but she smiled at me when I thanked her.  I carry this with me too.

When the picture accompanying this post was taken, I was sitting on the beach with four people I had met a day earlier, eating crabs we had marinated in garlic and tomatoes, drinking a 2M beer, and talking about tides and wind patterns and 3 am departure times.  A picnic spread out on the canvas sails we had removed from the boat to use as a tablecloth.  Happiness in the form of a poem.

I carry all of it with me.

I counted the stars in Madagascar.  I know I am very lucky, both for the adventures and the people I have met along the way.

These are the things I have learned.

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13 responses to “An ending”

  1. asterisk * photography says :

    And we are the richer for having experienced it through your eyes. Thank you for sharing with us. Kim*

    http://www.100days100ways.wordpress.com

  2. unnaaf says :

    Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us. All the best for everything coming your way.

  3. woodworkingideasstore says :

    Thank you, you have brought back many memories for me and given me new experiences

  4. broboniface says :

    Yes, yes, yes, I have been to some of the places you so wonderfully described and brought closer to your readers. Been travelling in Kenya, Tanzania I lived for 6 years and have been to Zimbabwe. All wonderful places, inspiring nature, when one has his eyes open. I do appreciate the poignant photography of yours, cheers!

  5. hearabout says :

    Dear Megan, these are beautiful words. Please don’t end your blogging activities I would love to read a view from The Hague and more views from Megan. I am inspired by you!

    Wish you all the best and I hope for a visit in London when I return in the fall!

    All the best,
    Katharina (from dar)

    • Megan says :

      Aw, Kat, thanks. I have started a new blog about life in The Hague. When are you going to be back in London? I am planning to spend the last week of September there. ps. I love your blog – didn’t know you had one!

      • hearabout says :

        Hey! Yes, and I have to say I am quite addicted to it. Although, I am a pretty slow writer and had not much time to publish so far. I am not so sure yet, what I want to do. You have truly inspired me and I think about travelling a little more around here before going back, another part of me really misses home after a year and there is Oktoberfest to go back to by the end of September. So I haven’t made up my mind yet, but I will keep you posted!!!

  6. Kieran Gracie says :

    Thank you, Megan, for all those wonderful and inspiring blogs. They truly brought Africa to light for us, and you are a really great story-teller. Please start another adventure SOON!

  7. lumu73 says :

    Reblogged this on Feria42 and commented:
    Ecco come si scrive un bel blog di viaggio. Per il momento sono lla scoperta del mondo di wordpress e dei suoi blog. Martedi si parte per madrid

  8. Anarya Andir says :

    Beautifully written. Africa is such an amazing continent that it leaves this magical feeling behind. I miss it with all my heart. Thanks for sharing your wonderful experiences and thank you for the lovely photo. Great post 🙂

  9. roamingtheworld says :

    You write poetry. I feel I’m there as you recount the images, places, the moments.
    You make me nostalgic for Africa and yet I still don’t know how I managed and traveled how I did, similar to how you have. It’s incredible. You’ll carry these experiences, memories for ever. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Mia says :

    I absolutely LOVE your blog! I would LOVE to go to Africa one day…and through you, I feel like I have!

  11. dcxtepogpostde1984 says :

    Reblogged this on Joel Hanson Pad.

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