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Africa Again? Why? – Angola Day 1



“Why do you keep going back to Angola? The visa is almost unobtainable, the journey brutal and expensive, and working conditions backwards at best. What’s more, they don’t pay you. In fact, you pay for the privilege of sweating it out!” After two year living in Angola and thirteen annual visits, such questions and protests are regular.


In response I could cite facts: Angola is among the world’s ten poorest nations. Life expectancy is only about 44, making grandparent-grandchild relations the exception. Angola is also just emerging from a full 42 years of war. But such facts rarely impress.


What does both motive my soul and convince my detractors is the accounts of my relationships with Angolan people: the military officer’s reassurance that his men were protecting me; the patient who lost his leg and was nevertheless grateful for his life; the blind woman who’s cataract surgery failed but who’s spirit remained buoyant. These are the most compelling reasons I’m in Africa again.


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