Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Out Of Africa

I haven't gotten very far on finishing my adventures in Kenya, but life has been busy. As I told you earlier I spent my 60th birthday in Kenya and my daughters had a birthday party for me when I got back with just family. One of my gifts was from my nephew Dave and his wife Cheryl. They hunted down the out of print book, "Out of Africa" and the movie of the same title with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.

Our driver told us many times of Karen Blixen who wrote this book. She had this large coffee farm in the pre and post WWI period. There were hospitals and schools named after her. Street names and buildings and there was even a museum. She was highly esteemed by the Kikuyu people for her generosity and ability to allow them to remain who they were without making them Danish or British.

Well, I finished it on Sunday finally. It was not an easy book to read. She was a storyteller and that is what this book was. She would tell a story of people, places, events, and her thoughts on them and then put them in appropriate groupings. Once I finished the book I watched the movie.  It must have been filmed after the rainy season as everything was green instead of the yellowish brown that I saw. It was simply amazing and even more beautiful than I remember. Watching Streep and Redford wasn't bad either. The movie had only small portions of the book in it as it also was a collection of stories from many of her writings.

I want to leave you with a partial quote from the book written under Karen Blixen's pen name, Isak Dinesen. "I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills...It was Africa distilled up through six thousand feet, like the strong and refined essence of a continent...In the highlands you woke up in the morning and thought: Here I am, where I ought to be."

No comments:

Post a Comment