The Smells of Africa

As you may know, I have lived 10 years of my life in Africa. Eight of those years was as a child in Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and two years as an adult in Cameroon. I visited several other countries in Africa during those 10 years: Kenya, Uganda, Central African Republic and Equatorial Guinea. I have seen poverty and beauty in every part. I have seen children running around with bloated bellies due to malnutrition, and I have seen babies who were perfectly healthy. I have seen the beauty of God’s creation in plants, animals, birds. I have tasted MANY foods I loved and miss dreadfully and some I’m OK with never having again! I miss mangoes, papaya, and apple bananas. I miss the simpler way of life, I miss seeing millions of stars every night and hearing rain on the tin roof. What brings on all this reminiscing? This morning as I stepped out the door to come to work the air outside, for some reason, smelled like Africa. Isn’t it interesting how smells can take us immediately back to something? Someone was, or had been burning wood and that combined with the newness of morning made me feel like if I looked up I’d see a palm tree waving in the breeze. Alas, no, I’m here in Hillsdale, but it was a pleasant memory nonetheless. The photo above was taken in Cameroon one morning. Just a piece of my African home.

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