BY CALEB POWELL I MARCH 3, 2009
Why do we do what we do? You are shocked you are disappointed, my friend, you do not live in Africa you only visit or maybe you travel and think because you are not rich that you can understand. But I am happy because you try, and that is good. My English is not your English, but let me tell images before my head. That we squat beside Kigezi fire, charcoal slabs, flesh dripping strings of blood. Crimson pulp skewer singes. Flames chase fauna, elephant lumps satiate. We survive and we are alive.
But we are not the man from Spokane Washington. He thinks park pay us good so he will not give us tip because he pay tourist authority too much money already even though we drive Queen Elizabeth Land Rover all over to find lion family tearing apart carcass of antelope. The man from Spokane get angry because we have only one frying pan and the potatoes take too long very long time to cook. He is hungry and angry and hungry and angry and then he makes fun of boy who carries bucket of water up ladder to the top of hut and fill tank so tourists like Spokane man can do shower.
Yes, I hear of place like Spokane, because tourist is proud and tell me thing and sometimes I spend a day or week with the same tourist. I don't remember name but where they are from. Hamburg man from Germany or Hobart woman from Tasmania. But this Spokane man he go into bush by himself. We warn him do not go but he not listen. No animal get him, though, and we go home to our shack with no electricity or running water and only small wood fire and we ask ourselves question and we wonder.
We wonder whether it is wrong to kill animal but we want to feed our children and do not like being criminal but we do not like starving. So when poacher stand with gun and tell us look the other way and pay us money and invite us come in front of crackling meat we sit and devour.
The fire rage and char meat and more fire chase animal to clear place so men can shoot at them and these fire is made by men. I do not know if this help explain why we do what we do and I know you are not Spokane man but that is how it is and why the savanna you see burn.