feeding my own misguided insanity

No matter how ridiculous the airport security checkpoints may appear, the rest of the world has nothing on the experience one gets in the US. I completely support bag x-ray machines, metal detectors, the explosive residue and contraband swab, the customs sniffer dogs and even annoying questioning, but I draw the line when common sense […]

There are things that most people wouldn’t consider being part of a job description; taking your clothes off probably being one of them. So what would you say if I told you that that is exactly what I had to do? One of my clients – the largest diamond miner in the world – invited […]

I was told once that if you’ve just had a brilliant original idea, there’s a pretty good chance that someone else has already thought of it and perhaps even acted on it. Having spent a good part of the last fortnight toying with unique knowledge management concepts, I was devastated to find that not only […]

A few days ago I lost my smartphone on a flight from Nairobi to Accra, not something I do very often. Actually it was the first time I’ve lost a phone, usually any loss is due to me dropping them or worse still, drowning them in salt water. To cut a long story short, I […]

Although I admire people who fold their clothes and meticulously pamper every item until the edges line up, I personally don’t have the time, patience and usually the desire. Home-maker magazines do make a romantically neat statement of what the ideal wardrobe should look like but the reality is that most closets are anything but […]

Caffeine is something I’m well accustomed to consuming in very large quantities, but until recently I’d never witnessed the birthplace of the fragrant coffee bean. On a heavily precipitous day in late June the tracks leading up Mt. Kilimanjaro are awash with cars navigating the precariously muddy surface. It’s not uncommon to see them sliding, […]

Some family, friends and colleagues can be incredibly demanding and in this case completely clueless of where it is I work or the conditions I work under on a daily basis. The only thing I can say is “Guy’s I’m in Africa” – that should in one way or another form an educated guess on […]

It’s about time these old diesel-spewing decrepit traffic hazards went off the roads. Far too many times I’ve seen accidents caused by their overly-wide bodies squeezed into tiny streets. Sure they look great as an icon, but in today’s world completely impractical; and given the number of cars on the roads it’s one less thing […]

You would think that a simple trip to the airport would be nothing out of the ordinary – right? I’m packed and waiting for the taxi, two last things on the to-do list: switch off the electricity and turn off the water.  Almost done, the taxi is waiting just outside the front door. I flip […]

Electricity is somewhat of a scarcity in parts of Africa, and as road-warriors – irrespective of how large the batteries are – we’re on a constant quest to find that next charging station to power our phones, laptops and other sanity-aiding devices. On this particular day the power had been out since 10:30am and it […]

When it comes to subtle complexities in relationships, sex, love, dating or friendship, nowhere have I found a descriptive vocabulary so intricate as in Botswana. As is the case with many African countries, the moral high-ground plays little in the way of monogamy. In fact, many cultures have thrived on a rich diet of promiscuity […]

A few days back I was staying at a hotel directly opposite the University of Nairobi [Kenya], where the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) was delivering a lecture on the refugee situation in Kenya. I decided to sit in and find out for myself whether the pencil-pusher stories would prove themselves correct. A […]

Emirates is quite possibly one of the best airlines I’ve had the pleasure of flying, but a large number of bad-mannered, impatient, illogical and uncultured people can make the whole experience less than perfect. As with anything, if you spend enough time doing it, irrespective how refined or dignified the experience, sooner or later unpleasantness […]

My mailbox fills up with all sorts of job offers on a daily basis but from time to time the search algorithms used to scan through CV repositories get it completely wrong; on this occasion I couldn’t resist replying. Dear Recruiting Officer, Oh most definitely, I’d be perfect for the job of Administrative Assistant at […]

One can’t fully appreciate life in Tanzania, or East Africa for that matter, without having the dala-dala experience. Those on a budget or without a need for too much fanfare when it comes to transportation will surely enjoy participating in a shared taxi experience. A dala-dala (matatu in Kenya) is essentially a privately-owned minibus fitted […]

Botswana has been on my travel and project circuit for the last 5 years but I can’t say that I’ve ever enjoyed the airport experience at Gaborone’s Sir Seretse Khama International Airport. Having just flow in from Ghana a few days earlier, I was pleasantly surprised that the depressingly old and stuffy terminal building had […]

While wandering all over the world it is inevitable that someone will enquire as to your country-of-birth. The vast majority of these new encounters follow a relatively easy path; where you’re from, what you’re doing, how old you are or if you’re married – but some take you by surprise and lead you to completely […]

Just recently I’d completed a project with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP) in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. It’s not the heat here, but more the humidity that gets to you. It’s just above the equator so the sun pretty much sets and rises at around 6am/6pm every day. But I […]

It’s been rather difficult keeping fit whilst living this hectic jet-setter lifestyle, but I try whenever possible by adding some “forced” exercise into my daily routine. Moving from one African country to another has its normal logistical challenges, but keeping fit is always a challenge – that’s why my little folding bicycle, which I picked […]

Just after sunrise the streets of Dar es Salaam start waking. At first, small groups of people move about in the twilight and it’s hard to clearly make them out against the road and lush vegetation. By their stride you can tell that some of the bags and bundles weigh heavily on their heads and […]