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Africa travel story - Page 2

Africa travel story continued...

My dad came through the door with his fast paced stride, always walking with a mission of accomplishing the next task on his plate. He was by no means a workaholic but he did work a lot I remember. He always loved seeing us though when he came home.

I remember the movie was beginning to escalate where Cary Grant kisses Grace Kelly and the fireworks explode. Some, though we never saw their face, quickly opened the door, and grabbed one of our gifts from under the tree, then just as quickly disappeared. We were baffled but once again events like this were pretty common. Many nights we spotted figures jumping the wall of our backyard. Our windows were covered in thief bars.

Africa Travel Story - the Saga Continues

The Africa travel story isn't over yet. 

Now it may sound dark, but that night we were expected to attend the funeral ceremony of one of the chiefs of the village where my parents taught on Sundays. We drove down the long dirt road. It was lined with tall elephant grass too tall to see over standing up. Small colorful birds hid in the grass and my siblings and I would make a contest of counting how many blue, yellow and red birds we could see.

The sky was getting dark as we walked up to the village. The village was composed of basic mud huts. Cows, chickens, goats and skinny dogs roamed the premises. The people were gathered around one main hut. The dead body of the chief was positioned sitting up in a large wicker chief’s chair. His body was bound in multiple layers of kentay cloth, including his face. A pair of sunglasses sat over-top his eyes. I remember standing there, holding my hands together, unsure of what I was seeing.

A large bonfire roared in the midst of everyone. This was used for light to see. As the ceremony progressed I grew bored as did many of the other kids, and we all began hopping large dirt mounds where peanuts grew, pretending if we didn’t land on the mound we would fall a long long way down.

Finally it was time to leave in this Africa travel story. The air was still that night, and despite the darker feel of the evening somehow my siblings and I were very much excited for Christmas morning. We drove home back down the dusty dirt road.

My mom always made it very special for us on Christmas morning. It took a lot of planning and saving to pull this off. We did not have access to candies, chocolates and nuts like in the states, so mom would keep a small reservoir stored up from the states just for this kind of day. It was magical to me.

Sweet Memories Never Forgotten

Every year we had a secondary Christmas for our Bible School attendees and their families. My mom, my sister and I would spend hours making up gift packs for each one of them. We had color coded them, some for the women, some for the men and some for the kids. It was incredibly fun watching them open them up. It was amazing how grateful they were for such small things.

Our living room would be overflowing with people, most of us sitting on the floor to fit. We would then have a movie time. One year we watched Rogers and Hammerstein Cinderella, the one with Whoopi Goldberg.

That was an amazing night I’ll never forget. I remember the roar of laughter in the living room as Whoopi made her jokes though out the movie. I also remember when the scene played where Cinderella steps out in the ball room and everyone gasps at her beauty, one of our students said loudly “It’s not the beauty that is important, my friend, it is the heart!” I will always remember his words.

I’m thankful to have lived those years in Africa and experience the colorful flare of the culture and the scenery. My memories of these Africa travel stories and of that place, of Africa, will always remain deeply imprinted in my heart.

(Return from Africa Travel Story to Memories)


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