Out of Africa

I’m sitting at the international airport in Dar es Salaam, named after the first president Julius Nyerere. It’s almost time for boarding and at 11 pm it’s still hot. The fact sheet from KLM says the temperature in Amsterdam is 9 degrees Celsius. I hope it will soon start to snow in Göteborg, but it can wait until I have landed. We have had a wonderful time during our Metafari telling stories from the past but also creating new stories. But what about the stories you can’t tell? The ones that are very dramatic and heartbreaking, but can’t be revealed?

I’m thinking about Karen Blixen. How she must have wondered about if she would ever return to Africa when she left her farm in Kenya. About the stories she decided to tell the world through her books, and the ones she kept to herself. I remember visiting her home north of Copenhagen with my mother a cloudy day a couple of years ago. The garden was magnificent, with a big black cat stalking mice among the flower beds. Fresh cut flowers were abundant in the beautiful house overlooking the sea. I would also be inspired to write with such a view.

My thoughts turn to a recent interview I did with the Swedish journalist Johanne Hildebrandt. She stated that she calls herself a “war correspondent” because she believes that signals that she takes her task seriously, that she is aware of that she might put people in danger if she is not careful. That her stories might in fact destroy people’s lives.

I’m grateful that the majority of the stories I have heard and created during this Metafari convey the good aspects of Tanzania. That’s not difficult, since there are many positive things happening here. Because our Metafarers made a long list of their learnings from the course, I’m also convinced that we’re all going to communicate them in a good way.

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