Stories About Africa I always loved when it
rained in Africa.
The occasion was rare, but so clearly I remember
the rush I felt when rain was coming near. The
smell in the air was always the first thing that
shifted, as winds blew in the dust from the
Sahara Desert. The smell, to me as a child, was
intoxicating. It was musty and strange, and to
me, was the smell of cool, of refreshing.
The rain pelted the tin roof of our house
loudly, making hearing each other a challenge,
and often the electricity would go out from the
storm. I can remember sitting in the house, all
of us in one room, surrounded in kerosene
lanterns. The smell of the kerosene was thick
and the lamp light flickered on the walls. Ghost
stories usually came next. I loved the rain.
I also loved to see the ocean. It was a long,
dusty trip to the sea. The roads were un-paved,
the air was hot and there were potholes
constantly along the way. I distinctly remember
the rattling, shaking spasms of the car as we
made our way, mile by mile. We passed huge open
topped trucks filled to the brim with as many
people as could hold, even some hanging on from
the sides, just to get a ride. Bicycles and
women caring unbelievable loads, balancing them
precariously on their heads; large metal bowls
the size of bicycle wheels, often filled to the
brim with everything from coal, to water to
twigs. I was always amazed by the women’s’
The journey to the sea took over a day, and
there were no bathrooms along the way. Mom
brought along a handy roll of toilet paper, guys
to one side of the road, girls to the other.
There were colorful birds in the bush, brightly
colored reds, oranges and blues. Every time I
spotted one of their feathers I kept them
collected inside of my book.
There were always a few small towns we stopped
in along the way. One in particular, Kamasi, was
my favorite and most memorable. Vendors
alongside the road cooked hot yam and spicy
sauce poured over it. The yams there were
starchy like potatoes in the states. They were
tough but delicious. As we grew closer and
closer to the sea, more and more I would see men
standing along-side of the road holding out
Grass Eaters, rather similar to an armadillo.
These men would catch these in the bush and sell
them to those driving by for supper.