Africa Rising

I remember sitting in the company of an old gentleman of the veld. The view from his veranda was one of those impossibly beautiful vistas that one never forgets. His house was perched high on the Drakensberg escarpment overlooking the sub-tropical expanses of lowveld savannah far below. I lived somewhere down there in that wild and dusty space and I was visiting a mentor and friend, seeking catharsis for my aching mind and heart. The reserve area where I lived and worked was in the grip of a most debilitating drought, my first as a ranger living in the bushveld. Anthrax had also reared its blood ravenous head and was spreading like a runaway fire, consuming the lives of buffalo and kudu in its stinking wake. Everywhere was death. The once evocative slice of paradise that I called home was reduced to a reeking charnel house that was devouring my soul. I tried praying for rain, but the mission educated Shangaans I worked with disapproved. They told me that my God had left this place. Perhaps they were right.

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