Monday, January 14, 2008

Africa to Rome updates

It's been a few weeks since my last proper update, so have heaps to write about, so will try and keep it interesting and readable and doesn't fall into the 'another anoying travel blog post' category...

I think last time I had not yet been able to head up to the Kande bach area where I was going to run the football clinics etc.

So, Kande was an amazing place, both geographically and people wise. Was really great getting an insight into real village life. Man, it is just so far removed from anything we know. I was prepared for seeing the poverty etc, but the 'tribalness' of it really stuck me. These people just live in their little villge, living hand to mouth every day, and know no different to that. That is life for them, and it's worlds away from my existence.

The clearst moment of this was when i walked past a guy beating a big drum (handmade of course) and I asked my Malawian friend what he was doing 'oh, they're having a big party tonight and they want some girls to know about it, so that is why he's drumming...' he replied casually. I couldn't believe it. Slightly different to the mobile phone era I live in...

The people there were brilliant, seriously so nice and hospitable. It was awesome becoming mates with some of the dudes my age, and getting past the tourist-salesman veneer that is the norm for most white people in Africa.

Was great fun teaching the kids about footy, some picked it up more than others, but they all just enjoyed an older person giving themsome attention, which seems to be so rare over there in that culure.

Seeing what TJ does too was amazing. There are so many needs over there, and so many people who go there thinking they can solve them, and then there are others who are just there, doing what they can with the gifts they have, and responding to real needs they see, not just what they think the locals need. Maybe I was in the former, because the stuff I thought was most important was good, but not the best thing I did. Hard to explain, so ask me if that doesn't make sense.

But then it was off to Rome for not very long at all, which was fine, as I got to see everything I wanted to, and get a iny feel of what Rome is like. The Colosseum and Ancient Rome stuff was really cool, and the Vatican was amazing.

For me it wasn't awe-inspiring or uplifting in a spiritual sense, as big chuch buildings have never really floated my boat, but was wicked in an art sense. Man Michelangelo was a well talented dude!

I often used to get all haughty and social justicey and quote the stats about 'If the Catholic Church sold all their buildings and artwork, they could solve world poverty..' which in one sense is kinda true, but in another is an absolutely gross over generalisation.

The problems in Africa can not be solved by money alone (that is in fact but a small part of the issue) and the Vatican is more than just a church. Particulalrly with all the Greek and Egyptian sculturesa nd museums and stuff, and all the artwork, it contains the records and hisory of society as we know it. To just sel it off (who would buy it all too?) is just not a feasible option. Anyways, just gaveme some interesting stuff to think about.


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