Wednesday night, I toss and turn through one of the precious hours of sleep before my departure.
I think of the woman in the film The Constant Gardener. How carefree she looked walking through the streets of Nairobi! White as anything and visibly pregnant too, but seemingly at home among the black faces and the noisy traffic. In Botswana, will I finally feel free like that? I suspect my host in Botswana – a friend of a friend – is black. Does she know I’m white? Will she feel like she’s doing me an unnecessary favour offering me accommodation when she finds out I’m white? Or is it easier for a Motswana to look past colour and see a fellow young woman; a fellow student? I scratch at the pimples on my white face and I feel them turning an inflamed pink. My long, smooth hair itches in my neck.
Before I drift off I wonder about the value of all this angst… am I simply a young incarnation of Antjie Krog? Or can I at least claim some progress, one generation later; some new original perspective on my whiteness?