This blue marble

– and yet it spins

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How odd it is for a Nordic person to trace one’s roots back to equatorial Africa, the cradle of human evolution and the birthplace of the primordial Eve. Myself white as a sheet, easily burned, with aqua-color eyes offering no protection from sunlight, it is strange to think this is the place of all our ancestors. This hot, scorchingly dry or exhaustingly humid place has been the true home of our ancestors for a longer time than any other place in the world. This is where our DNA belongs and where we evolved into human beings.

And yet so many of us fear Africa: fear the uncontrollable, the bugs, the diseases, the people so different to us on the outside. All the while when we are clearly built for this place, to survive it for hundreds of thousands of years. And as for the people? They may be different on the outside from us North Europeans, but we share 99.9% identical DNA, as well as the same basic human values, thoughts, fears, and emotions. The differences are dust in the wind. Kenyans welcome us as guests by their grace, and we are expected to behave accordingly. Those who do will find Kenyans as beautiful as the country they inhabit.


(Tsavo East National Park, Kenya; September 2013)

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