By Ryszard Kapuściński, Katarzyna Mroczkowska-Brand
In 1975, Angola was once tumbling into pandemonium; every body who may well used to be packing crates, eager to abandon the beleaguered colony. together with his trademark bravura, Ryszard Kapuscinski went the opposite direction, begging his used to be from Lisbon and luxury to Luanda—once famed as Africa's Rio de Janeiro—and chaos.Angola, a slave colony later given over to mining and plantations, was once a promised land for generations of terrible Portuguese. It had belonged to Portugal when you consider that sooner than there have been English-speakers in North the USA. After the cave in of the fascist dictatorship in Portugal in 1974, Angola was once brusquely separate from, spurring the disaster of a still-ongoing civil struggle. Kapuscinski plunged correct into the center of the drama, using prior millions of haphazardly positioned check-points, the place utilizing the inaccurate shibboleth used to be an issue of lifestyles and demise; recording his imporessions of the younger soldiers—from Cuba, Angola, South Africa, Portugal—fighting a nebulous struggle with worldwide repercussions; and interpreting the abnormal brutality of a rustic stunned and divided through its newfound freedom.Translated from the Polish via William R. model and Katarzyna Mroczkowska-Brand.
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Extra resources for Another Day of Life
Portuguese from all over Angola converged on Luanda. Caravans of automobiles loaded down with people and baggage arrived from the most distant corners of the country. The men were unshaven, the woman tousled and rumpled, the children dirty and sleepy. On the way the refugees linked up in long columns and crossed the country that way, since the bigger the group, the safer it was. At first they checked into the Luanda hotels but later, when there were no vacancies, they drove straight to the airport.
And us in Carmona, we were raided by a band of wild men who took everything, beat us, wanted to shoot us. I’ve been nothing but shakes ever since. I’ll go nuts if I don’t fly out of here at once. My dear fellow, I’ll say no more than this: I’ve lost the fruits of a life’s work. Besides, where we lived in Lumbala two UNITA soldiers grabbed me by the hair and a third poked a gun barrel right in my eye. I consider that sufficient reason to take leave of my senses. No criterion won general approbation.
We kept running into each other but never exchanged a word. I didn’t know what to do. I decided right off to stay awake—I didn’t want them catching me in my sleep. But in the middle of the night the tension would ease and I’d fall asleep in my clothes, in my shoes, on the big bed that Dona Cartagina had made with such care. The MPLA couldn’t protect me. They were far away in the African quarters, or even farther away at the front. The European quarter in which I was living was not yet theirs. That’s why I liked going to the front—it was safer there, more familiar.