Stories from Africa, the Lion Mountain II

I woke up early with almost no sleep. I’m still tired of the trip, but the excitement is bigger. I get dressed and walk down the wet pathway to the reception building. They take me through a spacious courtyard to the dining area, in front of which I am greeted by three unexpected hosts: a small thin-legged animal slightly larger than a rabbit, a kind of gazelle similar to a baby deer, and a funny long-legged bird like a heron, but much more exotic. They kindly pose to me, accustomed to human attention. I am delighted with their presence. They look like three aliens to me. A banana tree, with many small fruits, and a tall coconut palm, with numerous nuts, grow across the path. The real African fauna and flora.

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Stories from Africa, the Lion Mountain

I arrived the night between Thursday and Friday. An eleven-hour flight from Zagreb, via Istanbul, with a seven-hour wait, and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Late October, Lungi Airport, Sierra Leone. Two hours in the minus. It’s warm, steamy. Africa, for the first time. A night ride in an obsolete brand van on a hilly, earthy, muddy road to the port, and then by boat to the other side of Tagrin Bay. Wind and sea foam dust. Fortunately, there are no mosquitoes. I guess the wind blows them away. Freetown lights in the distance. Somehow, there are few of them on the other side. From the remoteness, it seems smaller than it should be.

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