All posts tagged: Horn of africa

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 …

on a hunt

somehow, some way, we managed our first official Office Scavenger Hunt. i like to think it was Hargeisa’s first as well. the players arrived early, donned their gear, assembled in teams …

on a trip to Berbera

Time passes, and there you are doing things you didn’t know were possible: harvesting tomatoes; meeting ministers; winning the trust of neighbors; chatting with cargo ship crew from New Jersey at the Berbera port; stripping down to bathing suits on a Somali beach, guarded by baby camels and soldiers with AK-47s. You made it, and the story no longer writes itself; you’ll have to put pen to paper and craft the day anew each morning. Here’s to relentless adventure.

what’s to eat #34

No, not those guys (as far as I know, no one here eats those guys). Oatmeal with bananas (the lesser, Somaliland–Ethiopian?–bananas, as opposed to the giant, creamy bananas of south-central Somalia) and jam, mint tea, and a few gulps of camel milk. Truth be told, the camel milk was for my canine companion. but it is a breakfast, dinner, and snack of choice for many. I can tolerate it in Somali tea (see also here and here), but this creamy drink is not for the faint of heart: if it comes from a camel, it inevitably tastes like camel. The benefits of this milk are much-touted, especially where it’s consumed most–strength, vigor, vitamin C, anti-cancer properties, and enough oomph to keep you full for hours. For now, I’ll stick to my oatmeal, and a just a cup of the magic stuff from time to time.