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I want to explore the Great African Rift valley with its great lakes,  click (hopefully not the last) Virunga gorillas and imagine how the continent is cracking up at the fault line. I want to visualize the evolution of innumerable things, try to go back in past, into prehistory and beyond. Think how lions ended up in India or the lemurs in Madagascar. Imagine the time when the Congo and Amazon were one river and Africa and South America one. Explore along Chad’s dying lake shores that are shrinking fast. Interact with tribes before they become ‘civilized’ and start making traditional jewellery beads from colourful plastic. I wish to be in the Savannah hearing Cheetahs ‘bark’ before they vanish completely, pat an ostrich on its head at the risk of being chased and walked over, see a handsome giraffe against the backdrop of the Kilimanjaro. I wish to trek in the Ruwenzori, enjoy snow and avoid malaria. I want to check if the pygmies are really as short as described in one of the old schoolbooks. I wish to sit quietly beside lake Kiwu because it’s so beautiful.

I want to try Cassava bread or may be Ugali, even a cooked babboon brain if I could become a guest of the Hadzas, the supremely self-sufficient and therefore content people. I wish to ask the Dogons as to how in the world did they come to know about Sirius B (before they come to know all about the one in Harry Potter too) . I want to observe the clear unpolluted night sky lying down on a cold dune. I want to observe the ‘orangeness’ of the Orange river and redness of the Red sea. And how blue and white Niles are different. I wish to look into the mystic eyes of the great Sphinx and try to get some answers before it becomes headless apart from already being nose-less. I wish to observe the serenity of an elephant funeral.

I wish to laugh with a hyaena, avoid being trampled by thousands of wildebeests running for their lives ahead of a dutiful lioness, see chimps as they really are. I want to observe for myself the seemingly water-less life of the Bushmen, try and find what Mauritians think about the dodo. I want to figure how the word for lion sounds the same in Swahili and many Indian languages.

I wish to know the not-so-romantic side, the unwanted legacy of the colonial times, the plight of Somalia or the conflicts of the two Zs. I want to stand at the Cape of Good Hope and see both the Indian ocean and the Atlantic.

I hope to give these a try 🙂

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