Several years back
The Purple Frog was a part of the cheering team hopping from one school to another looking for young, budding debaters. Every time the lady in the Judging Panel revealed she was from South Africa, the children showed surprise because she was white and unknowingly, at a subconscious level, the children associated Africa with a darker skin tone.
The honesty of little children has only given The Purple Frog the courage to go candid with its own experiences and surprises when it once visited the mysterious continent, Africa.
So here comes the brave confession part (unedited version, truly naive sometimes):
So Kenya was the country that The Purple Frog got the opportunity to visit. Experiencing Masai Mara and mood swings of the equatorial climate first hand were the anticipated thoughts. Some thought bubbles had clutter from the movie Blood Diamond too.
As a result, everything about Nairobi was surprising. Friendliness especially. Cool radio shout outs to people about music festivals and the overall content made them sound culturally sound and tolerant. A layer of prejudice cleared…
Nairobi to Masai Mara & back was going to be a cab ride with many stop overs. The mist covering the mind cleared during this days-long drive…
- Weren’t Africans supposed to be violent and hungry? Reaction after meeting a lot of them with hefty heavy bodies and bottoms…Every breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet served potatoes of some fried form. People had backyard gardens where they grew their own roots and veggies. The Purple Frog reached the conclusion – Blame it on the potatoes or bless the potatoes for this easy omnipresence.
There were poverty and acres of barren land but wherever there was civilization, people were civilized.
Little children of a government-run school were being heralded by two teachers near Thomson Falls. They gave them candies. The children popped them in quickly but not one of those little fellas dropped the wrapper. They held them fast in their hands or kept in the pockets of their knickers – all without any instruction from the teacher. It was touching.
That was very starkly present was street art. The Purple Frog thinks that street art is a far more pleasing way of communication than displaying prohibitive and non-negotiable messages all over the place.
The art used a lot of imagery and colours from the culture, flora and fauna of the place to get the natives as well as the visitors to acquaint about the place and its worth to the planet.
Braiding, of course, is a way of life for Africans
But finding a hair styling salon open in an abandoned, lost marketplace in the middle of nowhere shows passion for fashion! Again, something The Purple Frog thinks is an essential for the soul to keep going.
So potatoes, fashion, music and TLC for what surrounds them naturally were more visible than the drugs, guns, greed, money, hunger, desperation and ignorance.
P.S. Although The Purple Frog agrees that the touristy part of Africa may not be the best indicator of its struggles. But it also thinks that these are little life details that are more pervasive than singular.
There were large stretches of arid poverty and dusty eyes that couldn’t hide under the heftily-priced hot-air balloon ride or the lavish, outdoorsy brunch in the middle of the jungle.
At the same time, boisterous soccer games, abundant crafting skills and recorded audio cassettes of local music did make one believe that human maneuvers can add colour to any swath of land…
Thing This Week
Revived an old interest – Pottery & Ceramics
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