I’m Confused, Why Are You Laughing At Me?

Call it a CULTURAL SLAP, maybe. However, I was laughed at today, in my own home, and on my own smartphone. My wife has been down with Malaria, the first treatment did not work,  so we are now on to a second treatment  with a very powerful drug, and if this does not work we…

So That I Am At Peace……..

“Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.” ― George Carlin I ran across that statement today while reflecting about peace.  It certainly highlights how we contribute to the very opposite actions and reactions to achieve our end goal. The statement still puzzles me. “It is not enough to win a war; it is more…

Skateboard or Motorcycle Without Brakes?

Upon hearing of our security situation in Mali (For perspective: Mali is rated a 4 right now – Afghanistan a 5), we received this email from a feisty, pushing close to 90 years old lady, Vida Cass, who lived most of her life all over Asia and Africa. SKATE BOARDS ARE GOOD FOR A FAST GET-AWAY, TOO…

Love The Color Red, Malian Emergency Red.

Another curve ball:  Woke up to a ten day state of emergency here in Mali that will extend to the new year.  I scanned several news sources, including twitter, before going to bed last night and nothing came up. Reuters has an article after midnight. Very few other sources acknowledge it. Twitter is dead about…

How Do You Create Christmas?

We are decorating a two foot high plastic tree on my office desk today-  one that was given to us out of great sympathy by a local American friend a few years ago. She pimps out her 4+4 truck with Christmas rope inside, and wears a Santa hat.  She is hilarious.  A few years ago…

Kissing Africa

This precious story of a personal, overwhelming encounter with “Africa” was shared by my Canadian friend Catherine Robar, from Halifax. I filed her account of the event years ago, and stumbled on it today, it is worth a share. Catherine married a South African, and is living and working in poor communities to develop food…

Change Looks Like Quitting

“It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard, is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.”  (Bittersweet. Shauna Niequist) WOW….. what a mouthful, eh? You can only start, if you stop. I remember wrestling with this issue…

Giggling On A Bicycle in West Africa

I witnessed the smile of a Malian man who became the proud owner of his first bicycle. Yes, the bicycle with the smooth balding tires, torn seat, two broken pedals with only the solid steel spikes remaining to pedal with, a frame welded back together in several places, with little of the original blue paint…

Sacrificing To Get My Wives

Expats tell the greatest stories. Expats tell the greatest stories because words, thoughts, and meanings sometimes translate hilariously across cultures and religions. At three in the morning I read a few friends postings on social media, and the following had me laughing. This from a Canadian friend teaching English in Mali. “In our very last…

Pick and Flick

Only in Africa can you drive side by side with another motorcycle, on your own motorcycle two feet away, for three minutes across town, and the African mama on the back, who is the size of me, is picking her nose the whole time as her son drives, and no one seems to mind, not…