Back to Africa

If the title implies I have already visited Africa, then I’m sorry - it’s more that I’m turning my thoughts back there. I am not one of those people that suffers from wanderlust and feels the need to travel the world, taking in diverse cultures, natural wonders, new experiences….. I have no desire to see Australia for myself or the beaches of Thailand or the theme parks of Florida.

But I would like to go to Africa, especially Malawi, where we have friends who moved out there two years ago to work in a children’s orthopaedic hospital. I’d love to take my fifteen year old son to see a completely different side of life. I’d like my nine year old daughter to overcome her phobia of injections and have an experience she would never forget with her friends who she misses so much.

But can we really justify it? The expense. Financial and environmental. That’s what is occupying my thoughts today.African Wall hanging

Even though I’ve never been, I have brought a little bit of Africa to our home…. and not the cheap replicas that home interior shops are crammed with. Our front room was decorated especially to match an African batik and all the craft items my husband has brought back from his trips to Africa over the years are proudly displayed….a giraffe and baby carved out of neam wood from Kenya, soapstone crocodiles and rhinos from Tanzania, a woven plate was Zambia, an intricate statue of working women from Uganda - a heritage and history and craftsmanship and wealth of skill. It really isn’t just what an ornament looks like that’s important. Who made it, how they were treated, what they could use the wages for …… the story behind the statue matters. That’s why buying from recognised fair trade companies matters. That’s how to create an ideal home.

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