Africa Part 2: Back in Lusaka: The Three month Whirlwind has subsided, and a whole new World and Life awaits

"Into Africa" More than a Motorcycle Adventure
Howard Fairbank
Fri 7 Feb 2014 11:07


15:24.10S 28:17.10E


Yes, I’m back in Lusaka where I left off 9 November 2013, but I’m miles away from the place I was back then……:


Two months in Cape Town, saw a lot happening: Me selling my little cottage in special, St James, Cape Town, then dealing with a knee operation as a result of my motorcycle escapades, the mixed emotions of connecting back to you all with my e-letter, thanks for all the replies and feedback. I missed your company along the tough African roads! Then catching up with special friends, knowing I was deciding to pull up the small anchors I had down, and go back to the sea, to follow my destiny, and live the real ‘Simply Adventure’ life, I value so highly, again….


View from my cottage to the Tip of Africa

Selling my cottage, had the liberating goal of freeing me up to buy my key, primary, home, so fundamental in the real ‘Simply Adventure’, Way of Life:  A yacht…..! A moving home, one that French philosopher, Henri Foucault, calls, a heterotopia: A place where there are no rules other than those of our own values / beliefs, and those immovable, ones that Mother Nature has set! (The antithesis of a hegemony)  


I’d been searching for my 4X4 of the sea for a while now, and there I found her, on the French Polynesian island of Raiatea, a couple of hundred kilometres from Tahiti. After many conversations with her Canadian owners, it felt right to fly half way around the world to confirm my instincts, that she really was to be, ‘my next 10 years’, adventure home. So on the 9th of January I closed my cottage front door for the last time, boarded a plane for Tahiti, and then Raiatea, to maybe find, and open, a new front door!


Tahiti (left) and Raiatea (right) from the air as I was flying to see my new home.....

This was no tourist trip, but rather a gut wrenching trip, about huge, longer term, life decisions: I’m not going back to business / work, I’m not landing, and anchoring in somewhere in Africa,  I’m not setting up a project to help the world, I’m not becoming a paid public, adventure persona….. I AM just going back to continue my spiritual learning and search for the truths, feeding back in an open, honest and authentic way, to those who are interested what I’m experiencing.


The mission to Raiatea was a solo one, I was on my own, and this decision had to be taken in the context of being ‘happy’ pursuing this life course on my own. The rich ‘Simply Adventure’ experiences and lessons from 2004 to 2009 when I had Solone, my last yacht-home, were valuable, in knowing I could deal with the oceans of the world on my own.  Inside me, however, with almost all my solo dreams behind me, I knew my dream for this point in my life journey, was to now be sharing ‘Simply Adventure’ with ‘someone’ special…..  


In amongst this all, my extended, and longest ever, separation from Ruth was like a festering wound on my heart. I don’t know whether it was the immensity of the human moment around Nelson Mandela’s death, but being in South Africa during that time, I took a few days out of my life to contemplate my fragility and the ‘big’ and really important, things in my life, with Madiba there as a way off inspiring reference. New perspectives on old issues became so clear I wondered why I hadn’t seen them before, but maybe I had needed the life changing experience of the seven months in Africa to bring real perspective.


The first one was clear: Ruth has been a special person in my life, we had shared a huge amount, she had tasted ‘Simply Adventure’, but from the safety of an anchored, city life, and there was still more we could really share. We were no more, yet had been involved in a strange, seven year love, and lifestyle struggle, that tested, two fiercely independent individuals. In a sentimental move that brought us back together again, Ruth joined me for my last week in the cottage in Cape Town, and from that special time, I sense something much bigger was born. Maybe where we both are in our individual life journeys, has brought us together again, and we are now ready to define a new, couple, ‘Simply Adventure’, way of life? ( For the passive observer our relationship must appear as an enigma, yet, to the two ‘participants’ it is the source of rich personal growth and learning, as we design our own formula beyond the rules of traditional society norms.)     


The second clear perspective was, that my Africa trip had been a very intense expedition that challenged the very core of me, and what society and this World is about. I saw the ‘issues’ so clearly. The search for solutions took me right up to the leaders of this world, and I was challenged for easy answers.  It had me searching for what role I can play in helping move society away from what I believe is an unhealthy, greed driven, self-destructive path….


Africa is at the bleeding edge of this value conflict, and the rapid redefinition, of society success. The first world desperately needs the continent to join it’s team, and subscribe its self-serving, definition of success.


Sadly, and very disappointingly for me, I have concluded that I’m, ‘a nothing’, in the big scheme of things, and the path of the world is too well set for me to make a meaningful difference. The problems The powers that shape it, have too much vested interest at stake, to want to change it. The system is essentially corrupt and self-serving, in its fundamental, definition of success. that is being conditionally forced on all.  Even if the leaders with the power and influence did want to change the course of the world, they do not have the courage, personal conviction, nor leadership credibility to be bold, and stand out, to effect the radical change, I see necessary. It’s too easy to be part of the self-made, luxury and comforts, and to stay in silent denial……  


In Nelson Mandela, here was a person who personally took on a humanitarian challenge, and was able to succeed through his unwavering pursuit of a noble humanitarian goal. He had the personal conviction, the humility and moral high ground to stand above his opponents and pursue this human right at whatever cost to himself. He only focused on the human truths, and forced others out of denial, and to see and confront them. Dealing with truths and realities, volunteering for suffering for noble cause, is not one of our human strengths, nor the basis for winning the short term popularity stakes for potential rock stars…….


I see the humanitarian issues at stake today, are more complex than his apartheid racism, but also even more serious for the world. However due to the human abilities to adapt to amazing adversity, and rather avoid voluntary suffering for the longer term good, the urgency and desire for change is dampened, and the problem, cowardly, deferred, to future generations. For today’s, power hungry, hedonistic, ego driven leaders, entrenched in the system, partly of their creation, the necessary sacrifice, and personal risk to bring about change is unpalatable. Unlike Mandela, the world’s, truth issues, have not become a deep personal one, for anyone with the power, and necessary influence, to effect change. So the issue of change is merely a political football, that gets lost in political, and self-aggrandisement, rhetoric.


Eventually, I have had to deal with the truth, that I am the odd one out in this view, seeing something ahead that must be a mistaken mirage, a vision of the rapid and selfish, destructive, exploitation of the planet and society.


In this disillusioned state, and in my open sharing with many over the years, of my life struggle, I have once again found huge inspiration to head back to the pure ‘Simply Adventure’, way of life. A simple life, free of the lure of conspicuous consumption, and the pursuit of material wealth.  A life where the path to the truths are slowly revealed by Mother Nature, as one immerses oneself deeper into her sacred terrains, and forced to confront one’s vulnerabilities. It is in the voluntary suffering of adventure and that my personal growth accelerates, and in following Mother Nature’s subtle cues, that I move closer to life’s truths and my absolute, personal freedom.


In a very small way, in sharing my journey, I try be an inspiration to others to go out there to seek, and confront the real truths of life, and the world we live in. It is in this pursuit that I find true freedom, which has been the highest level pursuit of my life since I was a confused teenager………This is not a journey about seeking pleasure or happiness, that is for the hedonists, nor is it a journey in search of contentment, that’s for those who want to stop questioning and thinking, and become like cows, quiet and content, but brain dead, this is my choice to continue to pursue an ever rewarding struggle to get closer to life’s truths.  The, ‘Simply Adventure’, Way of Life, best  enables me to do this…..and after nearly losing my way, I am truly excited to have found this road again, and look forward to continuing the intimate sharing we have enjoyed……


So, in conclusion, the yacht felt right, Ruth is back in my life, and literally the day I received payment for my house, payment went out for the yacht. This all happening as I was somewhere between Tahiti and Lusaka, but transfer of ownership will only take place later in the year.


    My new home…….!

Taking on Africa Part 2, has never been up for question, the yacht is out of the water on Raiatea island, awaiting my return sometime in July 2014, and timing is all perfect. The plan is for Ruth and I to get to know the yacht, taking around 5 months sailing it from Raiatea to New Zealand, exploring the Pacific Islands in between. From then on the world is our oyster, and we will just take things step by step working out how ‘Simply Adventure’ as a couple works….


But for now, the focus is back in Africa, and I have just connected back with my friends Andre and Claire van Staaden, who farm some 80km NE of Lusaka. What I surprise it was to get back and see what had happened to the maize, and soya bean seeds. ‘we’ had planted back in November 2013. The fields were lush green, and the maize over two metres high, although the rains were not as were expected, Andre says the crop should be OK.


In another twist to the tale, on old sailing friend of mine, Rob Goulden, has decided to join me on his motorcycle for the section from Katimo Mulilo in Namibia, up through Angola to Lusaka. He is organising Angolan visas for us both, and depending on the delays in this process, we should be meeting up around 10th February. So a bit of a delay on my original timing…….


Look forward to having you along on Africa Part 2, and then the Pacific and beyond…..


I’ll be writing a short blog / diary and posting on this site, if not daily, it will be every few days…….


Take care…