This interesting little piece from NPR shows that the lions I wrote about in my Lunatic Line article (see previous post) probably ate only 35 people — not 135, as the guy who shot the lions claimed. That’s still a lot of people. Amazingly, scientists figured this out by analyzing the “carbon and nitrogen in [the lions’] teeth and hair.”
Check out my freshly published audio slideshow and article on the “Lunatic Line” from Mombasa to Nairobi in Kenya.
This film, which takes place in Kibera, looks interesting. Wish I could make the screening of the behind-the-scenes footage today.
It’s not all 18-hour bus rides.
The picture of Africa’s growing middle class is sometimes lost among the breathless dispatches from more rustic corners of the continent. I thought it’s worth posting this photo I just took in the Java House in Sarit Center, Nairobi, an upscale mall in the Westlands neighborhood. Having just enjoyed a perfectly brewed latté and a blue cheese hamburger, I am now surfing the net for free on my laptop.
In the last week, I came across two pieces of media about conflict that impressed me. One is a book called Kenya Burning. The other is a movie called This is Lebanon (Hayda Lubnan) that I saw for free at the Kenya Film Festival (sweet!). Continue reading
Jacaranda trees, cool breezes, a downtown that feels something like San Francisco (for lack of a better reference point). Seventeen hours on a rickety train, terminating in a landscape that looks something like the high desert between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, or the llano further east. Except that there are giraffes running off the train tracks here, ostriches prancing wild, and bizarre birds alighting and something hairy and baboonish lumbering through the bush.
I must be in Nairobi. It seems like life has been drawing me here for awhile. Continue reading
Over the last two days I took the beautiful ride throught the verdant Usambara mountains of Tanzania to Tanga, and then on to Mombasa by way of a scraggly coastal road: red dirt, thatched villages in stands of coconut palms that looked like they could have been transplanted from Fiji, stout lonely baobabs on the hilltops. Continue reading
I’ve been wanting to do some more substantial blogging, but busy and the internet connection is not as fast as it should be (ironically, in these net-boosting times, which I have helped contribute to: East Africa gets connected to fiber optics).
So, while you’re patiently waiting for me to say something of earthshaking importance, a little treat. Sauti Sol is from Kenya. Here’s their multilingual hit track, “Lazizi,” which sings about a date of coffee drinking and gazing into each other’s eyes. Notwithstanding that Kenya apparently drinks only 2 percent of the coffee it produces, partly because of some archaic colonial-era laws (hat tip to @coldtusker on Twitter for alerting me to that piece), I am digging this song. Especially the Luhya part (go figure), which is the second verse. Feeling good about going to Kenya soon. Enjoy.
PS, did you catch that Sheng in the title? I’m not speaking Swahili yet, but love that inventiveness.
Hat tip, LL.