there is so much i don't say. because i don't know how to. to you, my dear and few readers.
its about africa and africans. and being one. its about this crazy tapestry we weave. our weird, wonderful warped tapestry in the richest hues and moods you could ever imagine. i feel that i need to contextualise my writing and my life within these african brackets. i am not seperate from this. it informs how i live and what i say. it grabs me by both arms and shakes me and shouts at my face and won't leave me alone. it scrapes at my door and stares into my car window. i can never be anonymous. i am always seen. my thoughts are heard before i have spoken them.
it's about "casual atrocities" (william boyd) and the clinking of ice and champagne. its about having everything and having nothing. its so sensitive and complicated and riotous. its so devastating its impossible. its so wild and unpredictable. its so rich and so hopeful. its tough. its cruel. its heartbreakingly soul flyingly beautiful. its insane. its hard. its uncaring. there is always something new, something crazy, something to make you laugh. and there is almost always some sun to be found and someone dying. an horizon. a drought. a flood. a war. a smile. displacement. a helping hand. a juju killing. and a lesson.
the priest. the catholic priest from the rwandan genocide. the UN holds court for all the crimes against humanity in rwanda here in arusha. i attended his trial. he was responsible for ordering the killing of 1500 people in his church because they were tsutsi. they came to him for help. he locked them in the church. when they asked where they could urinate he turned to them and said," you can shit on the alter. you are tsutsi. you no longer have a god." he locked them up and refused them food. the gendarmes (guards) were ordered to kill anyone who tried to pick some bananas. he then ordered a bulldozer to bull doze down the church. with 1500 women, men and children. of course the few suvivors were all children who had been protected by their parents. they crawled out from the rubble and were rounded up and slaughtered by the gendarmes.
a friend of mine visited the memorial sites in rwanda for all those who had died..nearly a million. her tour guide was a young man, then about 16years old, a genocide survivor. he had hidden under his dead mother. he was 5 at the time. my friend asked him how he could stay in the same place where his entire family had been killed by the people in his village, who he saw every day.
he said," when i see them coming down the road, i just walk on the other side."
i saw him sitting there, the priest, in the court room. defending himself. a man. in a church robe. a man of god. the first catholic priest in the history of our time, to be charged with genocide.
i know rwanda isn't tanzania. or zambia.
africa is outrageous and anything is possible. anything.
i can't write anything more about it tonight. i want to. but there is much to say and i don't know where to begin.
Kitchen Blackboard Tuesday Evening: 27 May 2008
Contributors: Veronica, Janelle
Comments: Gas was purchased. children collected. i ran. i collected not only baby fever trees but also baby sausage trees, baby albidas and baby magnolia trees. 34 in total. car papers were in fact delivered to mark. and bah to the rest. in fact the service was so bad at shahins so i stomped out to make a point. silly me. have to go back there tommorrow now. because they do make really good mozzy nets. and i just hope that parking angel procures the same parking space again...no one remembered to edit the board...interesting.....?