Are We Really Going To Do This? - Niamh.
So there we were, discussing Africa. It was one of those idle conversations designed to go nowhere but fun nonetheless. It had always been Malachy's dream to travel as a photographer. I on the other hand, had been having too much fun in college to think seriously about an expedition. Wouldn't it be amazing though? An overland trip. Think of all we could see. Into the Heart of Darkness...
It's a big continent, Africa. Not a country at all. Dozens of countries,
in fact. Thousands of languages. Scores of civil wars, famines,
epidemics. Africa has its problems. There is poverty of course.
Some of the world's poorest countries are to be found here. Africa's
Aids epidemic claims millions and shows no signs of abating. Massacres
are not uncommon. And of course, there was the genocide in Rwanda
in 1994. But Africa has its wonders too. The Sahara and Kalahari
deserts. The Serengeti and Kruger National Parks. Jungle. River.
Safari. Egypt. The Nile. The Victoria Falls. The Berber Tribes of
the North. The Toureg People.
Neither one of us imagined we could do this. This was a project
bigger than either one of us. We were sceptical. But then, so was
everybody else. I'm not sure who was more surprised when people
first began to react positively to our proposal. When sponsors agreed
to fund the project we were even more shocked.
So now I must decide. Am I really going to do this? Will I leave
my wonderful job in Bank of Ireland and say goodbye to all my new
friends? Will I finish my piano teaching and bid farewell to students
I have known for years? Will I desert family and friends? Not only
that, can I also ditch central heating and regular eating and trips
to the cinema and nights on the town and fine restaurants and good
times and all that jazz? So that I can dodge bullets on Kenyan borders
and evade kidnapping in Algeria?
Of course we're going to do this.