Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category

It’s undeveloped, and it has crap roads – these things are true. But it is also full of really friendly people, to whom we have not had to pay a single bribe, who have really gone out of their way to show us a great time.

There are twenty four minutes left on this laptop battery. Power to the plugs in ‘hotel’ Tropikana (don’t ask) has failed, though the lights work absolutely fine. Outside is a little dark, and slightly infused with the smell of burnt trash and roasting meat. Somewhere out there, a bar cranks out huge sound while patrons   Read More …

This post should have gone up two days ago. But packing can be such a demanding mistress. Have I put in too little? Too much? Do I really need an extra bandage in the first aid section? (yes) Have the extra batteries for the camcorder arrived? (No). And so it has gone. So these are   Read More …

I’ve been holding my breath a lot the last fortnight or so. Catching myself needing to stop, unclench and breathe a little easier, over and over again. The invitation letter I need for my visa came through today. The fixer is confirmed. A thousand ephemeral shards of some implausible dream have suddenly spliced themselves together   Read More …

Two years and some some change ago, on a dark rooftop in Addis Ababa, I recall having my thousandth Ethiopian espresso with Jonathan, a friend and adventuresome soul who had come to join me for my days in the country on my slow road north to Cairo. I can’t recall much about the setting, besides   Read More …

Come morning, I sleep in until I can’t possibly anymore. Claw my pillow until every inch of tiredness has been attended to. Then brushing teeth in the damp, green cupboard of a communal bathroom, sitting on a top-loading washing machine that abuts the shower. Then breakfast.

Categories: Uganda

[Taken from the Ugandan Journals] It’s a hot morning in Kitgum, some three hours’ journey in a bus from Gulu, Uganda. I wake reluctantly under a clinging mosquito net inside the steel and painted-concrete guesthouse. It’s the final days of my trip here, and the arc of the journey is about to turn back on   Read More …

Categories: Africa, Travel, Uganda

There’s an anecdote that kicks its dusty way through people’s lives at all the right times. The idea that if you don’t know what to do, do anything. The moment you begin to move, the right choice becomes clear. It’s been that way this week, as my life wends its puzzlesome way around some invisible   Read More …

Categories: Africa, Journalism, Travel, Uganda

I finally finished transcribing the last days of my journal from Uganda somewhere around half past one this morning. One last push to get the last precious, straggling words off their handwritten pages. Loving each one, keystroke by keystroke – trying to remember when I wrote it. How I felt. In light of how the   Read More …

Categories: Journalism, Reflections, Uganda

South Africans I have traveled with – and people visiting South Africa from abroad that I have met – often remark on the sheer number of contrasts in the country. On the fact that it really feels like many countries in one. Some of the time, these comments are adressed to our unequal (shamefully the   Read More …

It’s December 10 and Tom, Saskia and I have come to the half-completed Karin Children’s Clinic to watch a local women’s group hold a weekly meeting to discuss administrative matters. They manage projects from beadmaking to raising livestock on a pay-it-forward scheme amongst various families in the group. A man from the Heifer Foundation –   Read More …

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