03 Feb 2009

Late last year I travelled through 7 countries over two months through an invitation to perform at the AWID conference in Cape town on Nov 1th to 17th with Dr Marilyn waring where we also presented a sound workshop. Before the  conference I undertook a 13 day safari from Johannesburg to Cape town through Kruger National Park, Mille wane and Addo Elephant Park, two nights in Mozambique and a night in Swaziland. One of the accommodations called Peace of Eden had a recording studio and I was invited to play on a album by a local woman in the area of Kenysa. After the conference I played at a jazz club called Green Dolphin Street on the  beautiful waterfront of Cape town with a variety of excellent musicians. The venue was always well attended and there was a high standard of food, presentation, decor, dress and musicianship.

My next safari of 21 days through Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe was to test all previous comfort zones and sanitary expectations. It was 16 nights of camping on a rubber matt, not able to leave the tent at night because of roaming wild animals, where everything around you either crawled, hopped, buzzed, slid, galloped or just walked around you and where you were always hot, sticky and dirty. The Namibia sand got  everywhere so I kept my flugelhorn in its case in a plastic bag, besides there was no LIVE music that I came across, besides my solo performance after I jumped out of an aeroplane in Swakamond for the skydivers and for some orphans from Aids in Botswana. Condoms were commonly available in toilets although toilet paper wasn't.

Victoria Falls was amazing and I even ate pangini worms, water hog, Kudu steaks, alligator tail and ostrich, and was painted like a Zulu Queen while I watched tribal dances and drums. I also played with a steel band but generally, Zimbabwe was depressing with hyperinflation that saw long ques at banks, petrol stations, stores and with the abduction/ disappearance of the president of the peace foundation and other numerous human right abuses. However a highlight was Rhino trekking with "Stretch" a 6ft 6 inch amazing guide who knew everything about the plants, bush and animals of Zimbabwe.

I got to see the big 5, the small 5 and the ugly 5 in an amazing continent of dramatic contrasts in its landscapes, culture,Replique Montre
Cheap Replica Watches lifestyles and people. The colours of the sky and rocks were unbelievable and it was thrilling to be amongst multitudes of free wild animals. I learnt many meanings of the word "coloured" and the differences in the variety of African Rhythms and sounds such as the roar of a Horney male lion which is deafening and nothing like what you hear at the zoo. I was in the birthplace of Miriam Makeba when she died and of the first black American president when Obama was elected.
Oh Africa, I love you so and I will return someday to explore Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania....but with an air mattress this time.