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Another Day of Life by Ryszard Kapuściński, Katarzyna Mroczkowska-Brand

By Ryszard Kapuściński, Katarzyna Mroczkowska-Brand

In 1975, Angola was once tumbling into pandemonium; every person who may possibly used to be packing crates, eager to abandon the beleaguered colony. along with his trademark bravura, Ryszard Kapuscinski went the wrong way, begging his was once 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, used to be a promised land for generations of terrible Portuguese. It had belonged to Portugal considering prior to there have been English-speakers in North the USA. After the cave in of the fascist dictatorship in Portugal in 1974, Angola used to be brusquely break free, spurring the disaster of a still-ongoing civil battle. Kapuscinski plunged correct into the center of the drama, using previous millions of haphazardly positioned check-points, the place utilizing the inaccurate shibboleth used to be a question of lifestyles and dying; recording his imporessions of the younger soldiers—from Cuba, Angola, South Africa, Portugal—fighting a nebulous struggle with international repercussions; and reading the abnormal brutality of a rustic stunned and divided by way of its newfound freedom.Translated from the Polish by means of William R. model and Katarzyna Mroczkowska-Brand.

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Their captains maintained radio contact with Europe and they had a better idea of what was happening in Angola than we did—we were imprisoned in a besieged city. When the news circulated around the world that the battle for Luanda was approaching, the ships sailed out to sea and stopped on the edge of the horizon. The last hope of rescue receded with them, since escape by land was impossible, and rumors said that at any moment the enemy would bombard and immobilize the airport. Later it turned out that the date for the attack on Luanda had been changed and the fleet returned to the bay, expecting as always to load cargoes of cotton and coffee.

I walked toward the yard, stumbling over stones, artillery shells, an abandoned bicycle. The FNLA prisoners, the 120 captured this morning during the battle for Caxito, stood along the inside of the balustrade. Along the outside, in the street and the square, stood MPLA sentries. There were a dozen or so of them. Prisoners and guards were carrying on a lively conversation, arguing over the result of yesterday’s soccer match. Yesterday, Sunday, Benfica defeated Ferroviário 2–1 at the stadium in Luanda.

They bought Savimbi to create UNITA from the Ovimbundi. We have a hundred tribes and must build one nation out of them. How long will it take? Nobody knows. We have to wean the people from hatred. We have to introduce the custom of shaking hands. This is an unlucky country, he continues, just as there are unlucky people whose lives just don’t want to work out. The Portuguese were constantly organizing armed expeditions to conquer all Angola over the last two hundred years. There’s been no peace.

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