W. Africa

May we wake up one by one

by phil July 22, 2014 W. Africa

All of these things happened last week: a passenger plane was blown out of the sky, villages were attacked and overrun, police choked a man to death, warning charges exploded on houses before real bombs fell on them, tanks fired on neighborhoods (later, a hospital), and a woman was stoned to death for adultery. We […]

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Some thoughts on the World Cup from Abidjan

by phil June 12, 2014 Cote D'Ivoire

Previously: In 2010, I left hobart street in Washington DC for Accra, Ghana. I arrived one day before the Black Stars were to face off with Uruguay in the quarter finals of the World Cup. You can read about that here. Four years later, I am in Abidjan, and I’m throwing all my weight behind […]

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Neglected Photos from Mali and Cote d’Ivoire

by phil June 5, 2014 Cote D'Ivoire

I thought these photos could use a home on the internet, so here they are. Pretty typical scene at Djigui Koro, one of the best bars in Bamako. Somebody buys a case of beer and everyone digs in. This is a very efficient way to order. Bintou on the banks of the Niger in Segou. […]

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Saturday morning at the garbadrome, travel plans, customers that have had too much to drink

by phil April 19, 2014 Cote D'Ivoire

Despite living in a restaurant, I do try to eat out every now and again. And sometimes eating out means going to the garbadrome. Garba is the all purpose, fill-you-up, working class meal of Abidjan. The standard portion costs 50-60 cents and consists of attieke (granulated fermented casava. Looks a bit like couscous, and it […]

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Worrying signs in Mali and a bonus travel guide: Bamako on $2 a day

by phil January 31, 2014 Mali

I am back in Mali after almost 7 months in Abidjan, the longest break since I first starting coming here in 2010. I tried to come back sooner, but the restaurant took over and I repeatedly postponed the trip. I am here now, savoring the last days of Mali’s winter, spending time with friends, catching […]

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Somehow all these things happened in 2013

by phil January 8, 2014 Stories

The year began with death. According to Arouna, Maimouna was killed by “cold air.” Whatever happened, it was an inauspicious start to the year. And then Ansar Dine arrived in Konna and France went to war in Mali. During this time, state television station ORTM began a support the troops campaign that ran every 15 […]

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