My friend Deanna and I both agreed that we felt very strange leaving Africa. Upon returning from our safari, we spent one night in Nairobi before catching a flight to London. We had seen so many things — gorgeous and lush landscapes, amazing and majestic wildlife, and poverty on a level that we had never personally witnessed before.
Feeling a little empty upon returning from the safari, we ordered room service in our hotel and to our surprise, Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery was playing on television in Nairobi that night. It was an unexpected but very welcome taste of home.
When I finally arrived home, it felt so strange to come back to this life where one’s every whim could be fulfilled almost instantaneously and with minimal effort. Things aren’t like that in Africa, especially outside the city. We saw people cultivate their food and graze their skeletal livestock along the roadside. Refugee families walked long distances to draw water from a huge watering hole in one town. Six year olds were working, leading a herd of goats and cattle instead of going to school. Everyone was doing back breaking work, either hauling water, firewood, or digging and planting. The smallest things in Africa come as a result of hours and sometimes days of work and sacrifice. Being able to have so much at the expense of so little effort, everything back home seemed so surreal and artificial.