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Visiting the Familiar

A Local Encounter that Changed my Perspective

WORLDWIDE | Friday, 19 April 2013 | Views [329] | Scholarship Entry

The sounds of feet thumping and the melodious rythme of hands clapping in unison pierced the cool African night’s sky. And there we all stood mesmarised by the writhing bodies of the borankana (A traditional Setswana Genre of Dance) dancers. Having grown up with borankana it was an all too familiar scene, at the same time the unfamiliar surroundings and company made the experience novel and exciting.
That paradox set the tone for my visit to Kasane in Botswana. I couldnt help but laugh having spent fifteen minutes in my tent hiding from the 'crocodile' that was whipping its tail against the canvas with a menacing thud. In those fifteen minutes the beuty of the prevous nights dancers was long forgotten, the ubiqutous call of the African fish eagle drowned out, all there was to hear was a “thud” “thud” “thud”, that of course and my shrill screams. Having stomached the nerve to peek out of my tent, i saw only the very unmenacing tail of a monitor lizard as it scurried into a bushel, very much afraid of its recent captor.
I was in effect a tourist in my home country; the friendly calls of dumela (Hello) from the tour guide were comforting and homely. The exclamation of other tourists in German, and Austrian upon a rare spotting of a lepord and cub, and furious clicking of cameras that came with the sighting brought it home, that this isn't my botswana, this is our botswana, no one mans africa but an africa for us all.

Tags: Travel Writing Scholarship 2013

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