Kigali. This is where I met Jeff Willner the first time. A classic indeed. Today I see him as one of my very best friends and one of the most generous, kind and inspiring people I have ever come across. 13 years back, with the first thing we did then was to visit the Kigali Genocide Museum. I wrote this piece back then https://www.mikaelstrandberg.com/?s=kigali
This time we both brought our kids. The visit affected me way more this time, because I have kids and shared the horrors we witnessed. It made a strong impression on the girls too.
Later that day we were honoured to take part in the great opening ceremony of the Giants of Africa. From the deepest horror to the greatest joy and celebration for life. One of Africas strongmen were there, of course, president Paul Kagame, just sitting a few meters away. And it was a great celebration for black Africa! And it is great to be back in black Africa.
I do miss Bowden who spent the last two weeks with me and the girls. Another great generous help from Jeff. Bawden made me laugh again, which was one of the reasons I wanted to return to Africa and bring the girls with me. To rediscover my old laughter!
People ask me the difference between our African trip and Turkey. The Namibian trip was way harder. Those corrugated, dusty, sandy and hot dirt roads are demanding. Turkey was hotter, but there were more people, better food by far and not so far in between places. Namibia is very much British cuisine which doesn’t belong to my favourite food to begin with. One huge difference is the fact that almost everyone wants something from you in Africa. You are a tourist with money. And everyone wants a share of that. No matter what colour. Fair enough. But in Turkey, no one asks you for money, but everyone wants to help, take care of you and they give so much. Obviously there are reasons for this difference, but I am just noting this difference.
That said, what sets Africa apart from the rest of the world, is the abundance of great nature, wild animals and the feeling that this is….home, I guess. When sitting outside the tent in the morning, next to a acacia, birds singing, maybe a roaring lion in the distance, the red earth and the smell of dust, it feels like this is my birthplace. That is why I want to come back all the time!
The girls love it.
We really enjoyed Namibia, but it is good to be in Rwanda. Black Africa.