Malawi 9/2019

This is my second trip to Malawi this year. I arrive in a time of political unrest following the elections in May. Leaders of the opposition parties have alleged that there were massive irregularities and that Mutharika is the “tipp-ex president”. Lilongwe, Blantyre and other places have been the scenes of massive demonstrations which sometimes turned violent, including lootings and mob violence, and as of late the police and army forces are using live ammunition. Driving through town wasn’t always easy therefore, since you better avoid the demonstrations as the protestors do not always clearly discriminate between who to attack. Or would the police? Anyway, we stayed clear of them as best as we could.

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Easter walk all the way up to the Brocken

Goethe, Germany’s “bard” and “national poet” forever, has his most famous character Faust make an Easter walk. Upon leaving Magdeburg, I felt I should follow suit. Some of the action in Faust is set in the Harz mountain range, and since it happens to be right in the middle of a bee’s line from Magdeburg to Göttingen, my home of over six years now, I went there and walked all the way up tp the summit of the Brocken, at 1141m northern Germany’s highest peak.

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Chimz in Germanland

Yay! We made it happen. At the end of October, Chimz arrived in Germany. We had two months ahead of us, with German classes to attend, music festivals to enjoy, with some trips to Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and the Alps. With Christmas markest and family get-togethers in Magdeburg and Munich.

t-shirts made by our friend Vuyi in Jo’burg
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Omo Valley

Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region along with the area around Lake Turkana in northern Keny arguably is one of the candidates for the cradle of humankind, as some major discoveries that have been made here suggest. Since it is also a region with an incredible diversity in tribal cultures, it has been referred to as a (live) museum of human cultures. I found traveling here truly exciting, though not free from major challenges. I don’t mean the usual challenges of logistics, food and health or such like, even though they are more pronounced here. Rather, traveling here has exposed me to significant questions concerning the role of tourism, and tourist-tribe members interaction in a region where ritual infanticide and the ritual whipping of women is practiced. I have written about this in a separate post. So here’s a first glance only.

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Nairobi National Park

Nairobi is the only metropolis with a national park right off its doorsteps, and with 117 sq. km its quite big. You get some of the big five (lion, buffalo, rhino, hippo) and cheetahs and leopards, though come early in the morning. I was lucky at last on my afternoon game drive when eventually we, my driver Sam and I, found two rhinos, a large group of giraffes and finally some six lions with “a view to a kill“. As a large crowd of visitors turned up, it seemed to become a big spectacle. Unfortunately, the lions seemed too unexperienced, or the antelopes and zebras too bush-wise, for the prospective prey played it really cool and kept a healthy distance to the approaching pride.

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