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Posts Tagged ‘africa’

Lost in a Minefield in Mozambique

Roberto slammed on the brakes, pushing the Land Rover into a skid. I grabbed the safety bar and my thoughts drifted to the bright orange shoes I had begged my mother to buy me when I turned seven. My mother, so worried about my Africa trip, my mother, so clearly right about its dangers. “We’re lost,” the park ranger whispered, hysteria edging into…

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Great Zimbabwe: An Accidental Sunrise

I’m notorious for missing the sights. I’m the kind of traveler who manages to visit Niagara without seeing the Falls or Paris without climbing the Eiffel Tower. Sometimes it’s on purpose, because popular attractions can be excessively packaged, reduced to their lowest common denominator and devoid of discovery or excitement. At other times I simply get…

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The Bullet Ring: Asmara, Eritrea

I couldn’t take my eyes off her fingers. They were draped in bands of metal, dirty, gritty and dull, with scratches and bumps, uneven on the sides, carved from discarded bullets gathered in a place of war. Some were thin bands, others majestic constructs jutting into the air, ready to poke out an eye with…

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Congo Lime Green

Not too long ago I was invited to run a one-week journalism workshop in Brazzaville, the ‘other’ Congo, the one Mobutu didn’t run into the ground. I remember a sea of expectant faces, everyone utterly dressed up as is often the case in more formal settings across Africa. “It’s a sign of respect,” my Nigerian friend…

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Memories of Africa

Is there really such a place as Africa? The question came up constantly as I backpacked across the continent for a year. Saying you’ve been to Africa is a bit like saying you’ve been to Asia. Was that Southeast Asia? Thailand? Vietnam? Or China? Perhaps you ate sushi in Tokyo? Or grilled kebabs in Georgia?…

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Goree Island, Senegal: A Highly Touted History

I’m not accustomed to being yelled at. Not by someone trying to sell me a service. Nor am I used to being called rich, stupid and foreign all in the same breath. It was bound to happen one day, my being foreign and all… It was on Gorée Island, just after I stepped off the ferry…

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