I Am Africa

A Namibian school

This might be an apt time to point out, if you hadn’t noticed already, that a lot of my blog titles are song lyrics. This particular song is from The Book of Mormon, a musical written by the creators of South Park. The musical is about two Mormon missionaries who are sent to ‘Africa’ (Uganda) in order to ‘help heal the world’/convert people to Mormonism. They eventually become disenchanted with the whole concept, but not before they make a few salient points about the attitude of a lot of people in ‘the West’ towards poorer countries generally, and the African countries in particular.

Which brings me on to my life. When I was at school we were actively encouraged to go on school trips to far away places – China, Sri Lanka, and Namibia. We went to paint a school, dig a ditch, teach some English… that kind of thing. We didn’t see anything wrong with it at the time, and the whole thing was done in the best of faith. Nonetheless, I’m not the only person who finds volun-tourism both unsettling and deeply problematic.

This, along with the exceptionally strained relationships I enjoyed on this trip with both my teachers and my fellow students, means that I rarely look at my Namibia photos. There are too many bad memories associated with each image to make it actually enjoyable.

But then I came across this picture:

Smiling children in Namibia

Isn’t she gorgeous? I wonder where she learned to pose like that.

Anyway, I have decided that the faces in these pictures are simply too lovely not to share. I hope nobody minds or thinks badly of me – the kid in the final photo already knows that I’m full of shit!

dscf0017A Namibian childdscf0057dscf0105dscf0107Children in Namibia

Over and out xx

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