Africa by Leire Galarza

Features March 3, 2016

“If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?” ― Karen Blixen

Let me talk about Africa.

Africa is stunning sceneries, extended savannas, lush jungles and deep green rain forests. Africa is the gentle and kind locals, the excited kids that saw a ‘mzungu’ (white person). Africa is the elephants, the giraffes and lions. But let’s be honest, Africa is also cockroaches and mosquitos.

Africa is the villages and their charming traditional houses. But traditional also means living with a lack of running water, having bucket ‘showers’ and using latrines.

Uganda by Leire Galarza_01Uganda by Leire Galarza_02Uganda by Leire Galarza_03Uganda by Leire Galarza_08Uganda by Leire Galarza_04

Africa is warm, solidary and welcoming people, but it’s also the immense awareness of your ‘whiteness,’ of being different to everyone else; it means standing out all the time, even if you don’t want to.

Africa is beautiful green and red colours, but it’s also dust and traffic jams. Africa is the generosity of local people, who would never hesitate on inviting you for a meal despite of their lack of financial resources. Africa is also labeling white as ‘rich,’ something that can manifest itself in ugly ways.

Uganda by Leire Galarza_12Uganda by Leire Galarza_13

Africa is colorful traditions, but also the slow passing of ‘African time’, which leads to practicing loads of patience and trying not to get frustrated.

Africa is mangoes, papayas and avocados, but it’s also rice and beans, every single day.

In this country where everything is more likely to be broken than to be working, there’s a magic that nobody can explain. It makes you love it in all it’s essence, in the most genuine way.

Uganda by Leire Galarza_16Uganda by Leire Galarza_18Uganda by Leire Galarza_19

But yes, let me talk about Africa.

Words and photographs by Leire Galarza
Follow Leire’s travels in Uganda on her instagram.

Comments 2

  1. Melanie says on March 4, 2016

    You are telling a story that was told a hundre dyears ago the same way: by colonialists, trying to depicture a whole continent as privileged and “undeveloped”. Check out this video and think of telling some different stories.


    • Rebecca Rijsdijk says on March 4, 2016

      Dear Melanie, I am sorry you see this story so negatively because I posted it because of the positivity. I think Leire is singing the praise of Africa and doesn’t depict it as undeveloped at all.


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