Bay Of Tigers
Pedro Rosa Mendes
Translated by Clifford E. Landers
Bay of Tigers is an extraordinary account of Pedro Rosa Mendes’s journey across Africa in 1997 – 6000 miles from the west to the east coast, from Angola to Mozambique – on trains with no windows, no doors, no seats, on wrecks of trucks and buses, on boats and motorcycles. In war-torn Angola, a country where the landmines outnumber the people, Mendes finds long lines of villagers waiting for shock treatment to neutralize the phantom pain in amputated limbs, an apothecary’s tent purveying boiled mucumbi bark to combat scurvy lesions in the mouth, and trains crowded with people eating salted fish and drinking beer, swapping tales of local sorcerers who can turn into snakes. He interviews international relief workers and corrupt local officials, widows and orphans, soldiers and survivors, piecing together a rich portrait.