A Tale of Three Speeches

We mere citizens of the world who once upon a time looked to the President of the United States to be both a strong leader and a bold representative of important moral principles sit aghast at the horror of #USElections2016. Still, it may soon be over, or not as the case may be.

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Walking Dschang

Dschang 2
There were nature trails. They weren’t labeled so. The walking was good, so I did a lot of it. On my second hike up the hill from the Centre Climatique, I noticed a young boy following me, so I thought my privacy might be breached. I don’t mind being followed as long as the ulterior motives are clear. I put some small bills in my shirt pocket, and considered giving the boy some money and asking him if I might continue on my own.

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Trash Tree in Malabo

IMG_8588Working quickly to execute a concept he had in advance, Plácido “Pocho” Guimaraes had the idea to celebrate garbage’s removal by immortalizing the garbage itself, as a tree. A good joke on degradation, to exalt it. The tree here pictured has no natural materials, but is made of metal, cables, wire, and fragments of discarded plastic water bottles. Continue reading Trash Tree in Malabo

While I Was Out of Town

Equatorial Guinea (“EG”) has the advantage of having a small population, some 1.3 million.  It has a crazy geography, with the capital on the island of Bioko (formerly Fernando Po) and a good chunk of its people and commerce on the mainland a couple of hundred miles away.  I remember standing on the back patio of the Bahia in 2006, looking at Cameroon across the water, not far away.  I thought, “Why is this even a country?”  And yes, it has the dumb luck of having oil and natural gas, with the advantages of huge revenues years ago (never distributed to the people, to be fair.)  But the decline in oil and gas market prices has left the country vulnerable, and yet the buildings and private company headquarters continue to pour in.  Venezuela has been unable to deal with these fluctuations, and even Saudi Arabia and Russia have had their tumults, where EG is making its way.

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The Old Block

John Kerry greets Nguesso While you were distracted by the U.S. election primaries last week, some knives came out – and also guns – in the Republic of Congo (ROC). Eighteen were killed. There, in Brazzaville, one of the Methuselahs of African politics claimed a gazillionth victory in the presidential elections. Continue reading The Old Block