The Shadow of the Sun

Published in Poland as Heban, this version was translated by Klara Glowczewska. Kapuscinski is a Polish journalist who spent 4 decades reporting on Africa. This is a collection of his thoughts and stories from that time. As I am dripping with sweat and feeling like a foolish gringo in the tropical heat of Belize, the stories ring true; the importance of shade, how people just shut down as they are waiting waiting eternally waiting for something to happen, how weak the Europeans are in the African climate. The concept of one Africa laughable, as there are thousands of tribes and clans within the arbitrary nation boundaries carved out by European powers. Adventures throughout the continent, from Ruwanda to Mauritana to Uganda. Places I’ve never dreamed of. Lying on mats in the choking heat of a clay hut. The beauty of dawn and dusk as the sun fades away. How life stops at noon and everyone lies still. The concept of community and no one being an individual but part of a bigger whole; sharing what you have; giving gifts and the obligation to reciprocate. The prolonged greetings– clapping each other and laughing. One meal per day, if lucky. Greedy government powers and the extreme gap between their riches and the poverty everywhere else.

auth=Kapuscinski, Ryszard