Black Humour

The driver, badly hung over, the usual pack of supplies, food and drink, forgotten in a bleary rush to get to his locomotive on time. Now, the fireman’s ok, got his supplies for the long trip, no problem. Driver sees him swigging from his water bag as he rues the absence of his own, constantly reminded of his thirst by the foetid post-alcohol dryness on his swollen sorry tongue.

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Elephants and Flowers

Dawn safari. I have few words, because what I see is hyper-real. Like stepping into a children’s picture book. And you start to realise…. this is what our planet looks like, smells like, sounds like. Pristine.

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Cultures and Vultures

Abstract: Has the concept of ‘working for a living’ become distorted away from our own best interests, without us realising. Rural Africa, which is regarded in the West as being third world, may have a far better cultural model.   Who wants to work! Actually I do. Love doing stuff, creating, being productive. The norm…

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Saint Francis of Tiko

Two back-to-back 8 hour flights then a 7 hour drive, and I arrive at an NGO near Katete, Eastern province Zambia. Just before Christmas. I’m there to be a ‘volunteer’, though in truth I suspect I gained more than I gave. Tiko is a backpacker lodge but has many local people working there to maintain…

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Eastern Zambia

This part of Africa is one of the poorest parts of the world. People cook outside, with firewood, which is one of the indices of poverty.  Village life can appear an idyll. The climate is beautiful, social relationships are mostly co-operative and people have time to talk, to enjoy simple pleasures. Such lifestyle can appeal…

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The Chewa: Gule Wamkulu

With thanks to Unesco for permission to use their video – see below for explanation. I went to Gule Wamkulu in a village in Eastern Province, with the director of the NGO where I was staying. She and I were the only muzungus (white people) there so it was very personal; arranged for us by…

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