Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ahhhh

Ahhh, finally home. It feels great to be back. I'm not staying here for very long however. By the end of the month I will be up in Boulder, Colorado, where I'll be attending law school in the fall.

Since this is a time of big transitions for me, I've decided to take an indefinite hiatus from Thought Progress. I do expect to take this blog up again eventually, but in what direction I cannot say. I've had a great time chronicling my journeys and staying in touch with friends and family, and I hope the next incarnation of this blog can serve as much of a positive role.

Keep in touch, and check back every once in a while!

Monday, June 30, 2008

On the Way Home

Apologies for the long absence. Since leaving Africa two weeks ago I`ve become a little lazy about blogging ($8/hr internet doesn`t help matters).

We`re in Switzerland now, which is sort of bizzaro/opposite-world from Africa. Before that we were in Istanbul, a place that convinced me to be sure to visit the area again as soon as possible. Istanbul is a very interesting place filled with great people. It`s also the site of probably the worst, most criminal dining experience I`ve ever had. Inspiration to write about it escapes me at the moment, but those of you who know me ask me about it the next time you see me.

In a few days we are headed to Berlin, where I will be staying with an uncle, before a few short skips to London, New York, and finally home!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Visited Robben Island just the other day, and was blown away in several different ways. Its really amazing how similar the prison seems to our current disaster called Guantanamo. Political prisoners at Robben Island fought for years for merely the "privledge" to be called such, and in the end they had to settle with the branding of "security prisoners". I would expect more from my own government, seeing how different our ideologies are from the former Apartheid South African government.

Obama's presumptive primary victory reminds me that I have some pretty sweet pictures of pro-Obama graffiti from Zanzibar. Hopefully I'll find a time and place to post these. Support for Obama runs pretty high all over eastern and southern Africa.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Migrants have until today...

The news these days in the local Cape Times is both frightening and depressing. Mobs in the townships continue to attack migrants from other parts of Africa, mostly Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Meanwhile, it seems that South African president Thabo Mbeki is practically ignoring the subject. Here in Cape Town township locals gave foreigner "job thiefs" until today to pack up and get out. This morning we heard of overrun churches and community centers filled with frightened people. On the positive side, it looks like many South Africans are doing their part to help these idps. Our local grocery store has a shopping cart out front asking for donations for displaced migrants. Sarah and I are planning on donating some of our gear, such as tents, and Sarah is even thinking of volunteering with a local NGO should they need help. I look forward to tomorrow's coverage with anticipation.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

from Multi-Cultural Mozambique to Rioting South Africa...

A week to enjoy Maputo was a great way of finishing our time in Mozambique before heading off to Cape Town two days ago. Luckily, we were able to stay with some friends we met up in the northern part of the country. The two fellows we stayed with are both Lebanese doctors, so we got a pretty good perspective on a number of things, including the Lebanon conflict, the practice of Islam, and Arabic perspectives on the US. Probably the most interesting story I heard was about getting fired on by Israeli soldiers while working for the Red Cross in the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah war. Apparently that experience makes their work in land-mine detection seem "low risk."

South Africa is another world. The two most striking things about it for me are: 1) How 1st world Johannesburg and Cape Town seem, and 2) How dangerous things are here. Jo-burg is a collection of fortress-like houses and buildings. The recent xenophobic riots in the townships definitely didn't help our impressions either. The news has been pretty horrendous. I really hope the government does something about it, both short-term and long-term.