04/11/2015

“I used to teach in Zambia, and I also trained the cross country running team back in the 80’s. One Sunday morning I went out for a run by myself in the bushes. There’s no signposts or anything, just footpaths through the bushes, and I always loved the fact you could just run without focusing on anything, like lights or crossroads. I could usually easily find my way back, but that morning I went a bit further than normal, and I ran by a group of young children washing stuff in the lake. I could see they got sort of scared of me, white people in that area was very rare and frightening for them. I saw them run back to their homes, but I didn’t pay much attention to it until I saw a group of adults running after me with machetes and swords… Well, I got pretty frightened then, and I started to run faster, but soon I realized I wouldn’t be able to outrun them. I suppose we think very quickly when we’re in danger, so I decided to stop and start walking towards them. It was quite serious, and I still don’t know how I stayed calm, but I was very lucky because one of the members could talk a little bit of English, and I could explain the situation. Without knowing it, my morning run became an invasion of a local village. They treated their territory as we treat our own homes, and I guess I wouldn’t be happy either if strangers were running around my house and scaring my children… Africa does have the same boundaries and rules, just on a different scale.”

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