All posts tagged: Africa

what’s to eat #49

…All this as prelude to the moment of my friend’s arrival, when he actually gave the mostly-eaten basket of pastries back to the waiter in disgust (at me, for ruining my appetite with these snacks!), and promptly ordered me to a rooftop I didn’t even realize existed, for a proper breakfast. Upward and onward!

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on Stone Town

No exaggeration: Zanzibar is one of the most stunning places on earth. Stone Town, its capital, knows this, and flaunts it. Herewith, a few photos of a “living museum” incarnated as a fabulous hotel; a walk through old Stone Town; and views of the Indian Ocean from a rooftop café. Links at bottom. Every sunset is one of those sunsets. The beauty is relentless; eventually even your camera throws up its lens in exasperation. And no, there is no filter to do this justice. Don’t bother. We brought a bit of home with us to show off: Have you been to Stone Town? What/where do you recommend ? Photos of Dhow Palace Hotel, and 6 Degrees South rooftop restaurant. For transportation throughout Zanzibar, and tips, tricks, & tours, contact Samir Ayub / MiMi Tours & Travel: +255 772 050 974, or Whatsapp +255 787 786 238. Highly recommended.

on Roda, and resilience

Roda invited us into her tea shop, a wooden frame of sticks and crunchy, curled, leaves shading customers from the sun. We had made our way into rural Somaliland for monitoring activities, and at one stop we chatted with Roda, businesswoman and single mother of six. A tea kettle sat on smoking logs, and we sat on woven mats on the ground. birds flitted through the leaves above us, chirping away. At the time, Roda was doing pretty well for her family: she had a decent income from her tea shop, and she owned a couple cows. She was making it work, holding it together. I’ve been thinking about Roda during the past few weeks as the drought in Somalia and Somaliland slides quickly into something much worse. Of all the things we’re able to control in the modern day, the weather just isn’t one of them (yet), and this corner of the world is especially vulnerable to climate change. I think also about community, and its power to manifest resilience in the individual. In this place, community is fierce; a Somali with …

on the beach

I spent childhood summers on the South Carolina coast eating tuna sandwiches with my maternal family, sipping Fresca while the grownups sipped from Canadian beer cans sweating inside fluorescent coozies. I have fond memories of sunscreen, mysteriously persistent sunburns, salt-soaked bathing suits, toes reaching for sandbars, catching crabs in freshwater inlets, and searching for shells at low tide. Nevertheless, I’m no beach lover. Vacation destinations, as far as I’m concerned, should be temperate and ideally windy, cozy, even rainy. What can I say, I’m a cold weather enthusiast. Yet when a tropical coastline beckons, and the timing works out, only a fool would resist. So I found myself in Zanzibar on Nungwi Beach, at the island’s northern tip, slathering sunscreen, kicking sand, and marveling at breathtaking scenery. Blue hues dominate Nungwi, reminding me of another of my favorite destinations. The pace is slow, as it ought to be, and relaxation is the permanent modus operandi, a challenge for a stress-prone tourist trying desperately to wind down from a new gig. Fortunately I had some help in that department from my …

what’s to eat #30

A simple, and simply delicious, Tunisian fricassee, prepared by the most charming of sandwich assemblers.  The fricassee is all about this special bread: a golden, fried roll, a bit spongy, but perfectly sturdy to house a festive mélange of Mediterranean delights: tuna, potatoes, egg, méchouia, olive oil, harissa, salt, an olive for some spunk. To enjoy at a slow stroll, in good company.