I don’t want to change the world

Africa is a place to love and hate. One day I am happy to be here and live through this experience, another day I feel like grabbing a zebra and galloping away from here to better places.

The thing with Africa is, everybody comes here for a reason. And by that I mean that the reason is something more than “I want to have a smashing holiday and get wasted every night for cheap”.

Africa is simply too weird to come for a potato-style beach bumming. It is too dodgy to come for wild nighttiming. It is too expensive to come for shopping and cheap stuff. On the streets you encounter a rip off much more intense that the Asian style, and being a white foreigner on holiday here, in fact, sucks (worse than this in Africa is only being a black foreigner or a donkey).

The more I travel in so-called third-world countries, the more I am convinced that I can’t change the world. Nobody can, be you a politician, a teacher, an astronaut or a homeless bum. We can work for international aid organisations, we can fight wars against terrorism, we can donate money to support the ‘Furry friends society’ or ‘Save the children get a pass to heaven’, but the fact is – in real life there is no such things as ‘society’, ‘people’, ‘children’ or ‘animals’. Real life distributes names to individual beings, be it a child, a man, a woman, a cat, a rhinoceros or an elephant. The only impact we can make on the world is limited by the relationships that we develop as individual to individual.

I believe in karma in its practical sense: if today I buy somebody a coffee, tomorrow somebody will treat me to a muffin, an after tomorrow somebody else will help me find the road when I’m lost, and the next day I will use this ‘credit’ to pay it forward to somebody else – and so it goes. That film, ‘Pay it forward‘, is a miserable cheesy mess, but you should watch it to get the idea.

Starting from this month I am working for a charity organisation here in Nakuru, Kenya, called Our Home Nakuru. I will write later about the mass of projects that we are running simultaneously, but for now I just want to say that I am trying to pay it forward for many many years ahead.


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