There can be few better places on this planet in which to chill and contemplate life than Kokrobite.
This afternoon I am sat on the veranda deck outside of my room with a glass of mango juice relaxing on a day bed. The sound of the ocean and a mellow base track provide the background ambience to my thoughts.
In three to four hours time the big yellow truck will roll in here to Milly’s and with it the overland group that I will spend the next 28 to 29 weeks with and something’s about my life will be transformed forever.
We travel east overland, from Ghana, through Togo and Benin, to Nigeria before swinging southwards into Cameron, Gabon, Congo Brassaville, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola again, then Namibia and onward into South Africa and Cape Town. Catching our collective breaths before heading back upto Namibia, then east again through Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, to Mozambique, then north towards our final destination of Cairo, via Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Mali, Ethiopia, Sudan and finally Egypt.
No matter that I have met all of the group briefly before, exchanged messages with most ahead of the departure and a few of them I have even spent an evening or two with. This is a group of strangers that I’m joining. We will be travelling, exploring, adventuring, celebrating, camping, cooking and no doubt, at times, commiserating and consoling.
Spending 24 hours in one persons company can be challenging, spending 7 months with 25 or so others is going to be a challenge on a whole new scale. My two month volunteering experience in Ghana mirrored this close 24/7 living, but not quite on this scale. A great, big challenging adventure!!
Nothing can possibly be concealed in this environment, all character and personality traits will be laid bare. As well as hopefully discovering new things about myself, otherwise what is the point of this challenge? I will also be learning about others. There will be nowhere for any of us to hide and I’m looking forward to getting out of my comfort zone.
By the time we reach Cairo we will as a group have shared so many collective experiences that lasting friendships are sure to form. These people are about to get to know me more intimately and comprehensively than, with a few notable exceptions, any other people on this planet.
With 21 countries to explore over these next 7 months our senses are about to be assaulted with wonder and at times disbelief. We shall witness at first hand the joy of African culture, alongside the poverty of living conditions and stark daily choices that most African’s face. First world problems will indeed pale…
Theroux writes “In Africa we see human history turned upside down, and it is possible in Africa to see where we have gone wrong.” My own experience thus far leads me to echo this sentiment. Yet also as another author writes, “Africa gives back the feeling that the world is vast, prodigious and noble.”
Our explorations will take us to view natural wonders, vast landscapes, starry night skies and herds, prides, packs and locks of creatures.
While I can’t promise to post on anything like the regular basis I have previously, I will continue to chronicle my experiences and publish them as and when communications allow.
Bring it on….