22 April 2007

Being Without An Internet Connection...

...is not so bad when you're in Kenya. Hi from Nairobi. Here's a look at my neighborhood.

18 April 2007


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17 April 2007

26°16'41.02"S 27°53'11.72"E

Kliptown, Soweto, South Africa

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14 April 2007

25°22'22.13"S 28°18'38.38"E

On the edges of Hammanskraal, there is no electricity or running water. Among the tin houses, not much grows except an occasional small tree or a patch of brown grass. The soccer field is dust. The kids play in bare feet and the neighbors come out to cheer and shout advice from the sidelines. I'm visiting for just a few hours. Trying to understand what it is I'm seeing. But there is no way for me to understand. I can eat the food, walk to the tuck shop to buy a soda, sit in the tiny square of shade, take a few pictures, ask some questions, but I'll never know.

She is 23, mother of one, owner of this tiny tin shack. Her smile is wider than the sky. She has full-blown AIDS, a CD4 count of 16 at last count. She speaks in a soft voice and laughs from time to time. She is just another poor African mother with AIDS who will die before long and I don't know what to do with that.

12 April 2007


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25°28'37.73"S 28° 7'5.92"E

The sun is setting. It blazes through a single hole in the clouds to the west. I'm sitting in the doorway watching the kids playing a game that involves a tower of buckets, one ball thrown in all directions, and a great deal of shouting. At some point, the tower collapses into the red dust of the street. The inevitable argument ensues. Two houses down, music is shaking the ground, loud enough seemingly to knock down the thin corrugated walls. We are at Granny's house. In the room: Granny, four daughters, a host of children, one husband away at work. Other than him, all the men have melted away. Better things to do than take part in the dusty complexity which is life in the Soshanguve township.

Here are some sounds from the game.

SPECIAL HINT:I'm sure most of my distinguished visitors are webgeeks enough to know that you can copy and paste the coordinates I've listed in the title of this and other posts into the search window at maps.google.com, click "satellite" when the map comes up, and view a fine photograph of the EXACT SPOT ON EARTH I was writing about. But if you aren't that much of a webgeek, you can just click here. And make sure to zoom in...

11 April 2007

25°41'11.76"S 28°10'18.96"E

Different sounds at night, the same trees but different birds in them, a different feel on the street, different light in the evening and in the morning. I'm sitting beneath a canopy of trees, the sound of light traffic in the distance. The jetlag is still pulling at my eyes, making everything feel a little over-bright and over-real. I'm in Africa and I guess it's time to write a little once again.

02 April 2007

Giant Mushrooms or Space Visitors Come To Los Angeles

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