He said there were no snakes.
And then he took off.
We are way outside the city limits of course and there was a possibility that he had not found the snakes. And within a second or two, I thought that my adventure prowess would cause me to find all of the ones he hadn't. But, because he was off into the bush so quickly, and I don't know much about finding my way around, and even less about asking, I took off too.
I let him get more than 5 or 6 ahead, he disappeared. So I looked for his closing path and trudged on. And I found some new friends. Sticky trees that surely eat meat, slicing weeds that make your quick evaporate shirt fell like its morphing into Velcro and ants that have hair and its styled and muscles that are observed without you bending over to say "...oh ain't that cu...Oh my word, look, what is that thing?!" And a crazy hidden spot with what looks like an endless supply of live dirt. (Quicksand, that secret ingredient to lasting concrete mixture.) And these tiny bugs that sneak a ride on what seems to be the plumpest light skinned buffet, I mean arm, that they've ever seen.
So far, so good. Because no snakes.
We are in the countryside between a few mountains that surround Iringa. It's a tucked-away town in Tanzanaia that has all the makings of where snakes would hangout a lot. Before dark, after dark, cool , hot...doesn't matter...it's where I'd live if I were a snake.
So after all this, after all the 8 foot weeds and the untamed 10 foot cornrows we get a picture of the hearts and minds that come here and dream about whats going to be made here. My friend Jared and I add smiles to theirs because we see that for now, we have been working off the same page of the future. All except the one where they said "No snakes here." The perfect place for a big curly ones with fangs that don't match. Some sort of Highland Rattle-Moccasin not yet discovered.
I get this because I remember being told in the not too distant past, to "try this, it won't make you sick." Or how about "We'll go after our dinner, it's not a long walk." Or, "we will be there for just a little visit." Promised to the unsuspecting Americans, our great African friends do their best to host us and lead us and keep us upright for our return, but this fella told me there were no snakes and by the end of our sauntering, I was believer.
So, in my heart I'm going to settle a few other things while I am at it. Once and for all. Thing I have thought for sure. Things I have made decisions that have kep,me from seeing and having all the African in me that is allowed in very fine southern red-neck of the woods.
It's not the Dark continent.
I've found it to be that way at night, just like South Carolina. But when the sun is out, it is a happy sky with these great afternoon surprises.
It's not scary and serious everywhere.
No it's a lot like my daily text feeds from the local police pispatch and a copy of our local news paper.
People over here are sorting things out too.
It's not so hard to get to...I didn't have to chop through, or build my own boat. No, I stood in a line and they smiled and said my fist name and put me on a plane where I had my own seat and brought me a blanket and some food....while I watched movies.
So yeah, the romantic descript of this continent might be letting me down. After all I was sure that by now since I was trapsing off into this wildness, I would be saying by to my loves and my friends, things like, "don't forget me" and "I'll love you forever." - all because when I was sure there were snakes, he said there weren't. What else can I learn from my new friend Arnold about this great land Africa?
We didn't see any snakes...there were't any in the grasslands...
From the grasslands...