Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Out of Africa

The Myth and the Reality

Out of Africa is a lovely, romantic story. Everyone is so nice and pretty. It's a fairy tale.

The reality is thousands of people crowded on decrepit vessels bound for Italy. Refugees who will risk their lives to get Out of Africa.

I have been writing the fairy tale version of Africa in my blog and Facebook postings. You will see the good side of it -- the spectacular sunsets and the warm-hearted people. The brutal facts -- disease, corruption and violent savagery -- will be swept aside.

People love the Africa of their dreams. Go on a safari in Kenya -- meet the noble Masai. You will love it. And don't you wish it were true?

I write about the Mataka family, the several generations -- the grandfather, the aunties and uncles, the cousins, and Precious the woman I married. I write about Zimbabwe, the land they came to, and I will soon be writing about Malawi which is their true homeland.

The Matakas came from Malawi in the 1930s. Came to Zimbabwe -- then called Rhodesia -- to find work.

But, in a larger sense, we all come from Malawi, for the human race was born in Central Africa. We were all born there. And the people who live there still are truly the most indigenous people on Earth because...... because they never left. They stayed behind  -- happy and resigned to be who they are.

But the rest of us evolved, and became restless, and wandered, Out of Africa, to Europe, Asia and the New World.

We escaped. We're the ones on that overcrowded boat heading for Italy. But a piece of our heart stayed behind, unconscious, unremembered, calling us home. This is why the people of Malawi don't say welcome, they say welcome back.

We visited Malawi and the Mataka ancestral village, and you will see a few photos and stories about them in future postings.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I agree - we definitely need more studies like this and Mike/Dick continue to guide us all with excellent editorials. Nice to move beyond partial lunar cycle durations. The one thing I wish these "boring" studies would add are pre/post treatment surveillance cultures for resistant pathogens. It is unclear to me if "shorter" duration is always associated with lower risk of MDRO acquisition. It is possible that longer or even double/triple coverage might be associated with lower resistance. I would like to see surveillance cultures included so we can eventually understand the epidemiology of resistance and move beyond the dogma of shorter always equals better or "narrow" is always better than broad-spectrum. And maybe the dogma is correct, I just want data to prove it. However, I do agree that reducing exposure does lead to lower CDI risk, which is excellent. - See more at: