All posts tagged: Horn of africa

10 Cool Things About Living in Hargeisa

Sometimes you keep your head down for a bit too long, buried deep in your laptop, your creative work, your chores, and you forget to look up and press your face against the world. The humdrum becomes drudgery, the drudgery becomes dead weight, your whole environment becomes a nuisance. It’s (way, way too) easy to lose sight of the charm that’s just next to you, of opportunities for humor and grace. Herewith, in attempt to recapture that charm, and reclaim my gratitude about life overseas, are some of the things I appreciate most about living in Hargeisa.

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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 winter in the Horn

‘Tis the season here in Somaliland: winter winds, chilly temperatures, and thick layers of morning fog all around. It’s enough to keep you in bed much later than you intended. Truth be told, I’ve been waiting for this moment; last winter surprised and delighted me, cold weather devotee that I am. I hadn’t imagined I would wrap up in sweaters or pull on socks in this relatively arid climate – camels, cacti and wool hats seemed like unlikely pairings. But here we are again, and I’m doing my best to take full advantage. Thanks to later dawns and earlier sunsets, I snuggle in bed as long as I can. Breakfast under cover (quite literally) has become a beloved ritual. When I manage to peel myself off the mattress, a polite but impatient (canine) spirit awaits me, ready to charge the clouds of fog and greet the day. (Don’t let her fool you, though–given the right bedding she’s as lazy as they come). Winter morning walks in our neighborhood are truly stunning, once you shake off the …