My friend Brian told me that Africa was a place hard to leave. It is difficult to put my finger on exactly why, but part is the sheer exuberance of the place (granted, I only visited east Africa). I could never tire from hearing Swahili (unlike many European languages or some of the US English dialects). It is a language with so much affect, one that catches tone and mood like no other. The liveliness of the streets is also a part– how quickly an empty sidewalk is transformed into a vibrant, colorful place remains a wonder. And I was fortunate to meet many warm and hospitable people. Yes a difficult place to leave. On the flight out, the plane moved up through overcast skies, then broke out above the clouds. Soon, looking down to the right, I could see snow mixed with the level layer of white clouds and some rocks protruding. I realized I was seeing the top crater of Kilimanjaro just barely projecting above the plain of clouds. Only three days earlier, I had stood there–a fitting farewell.
T. Hugh Crawford