Getting hitched

by phil March 19, 2014 Stories

Bit of personal news here. I recently got engaged to Ms. Bintou Sagara. That goes towards explaining the light posting. That and the running a restaurant thing. Will share some more details in the coming weeks. No wedding planned yet, but for the relatively exclusive group of folks that still read this semi-dormant site, you […]

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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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Observations after a month of running a restaurant in Abidjan

by phil December 18, 2013 Biz

Here are a few observations and lessons learned from nearly two months of running a full service restaurant in Abidjan. Running a restaurant is a great way to meet people. Among our regulars, we have the captain of ASEC Mimosas (Cote d’Ivoire’s most storied club football team). We have Monsieur Kedjenou, an extremely well-read Anglo-Ivorian […]

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Open for Business

by phil November 6, 2013 Biz

Around the end of each month, you start to see a few more armored trucks than usual rolling around Abidjan. They are filled with cash and on their way to supply banks and ATMs with the monthly salaries of workers who find themselves in the formal economy. Some people are paid around the 24th and […]

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A Cocktail Shaker and 10 meters of Fabric in Adjame Market

by phil October 3, 2013 Cote D'Ivoire

If you want to tropicalize yourself (you should do this at some point in your life), Abidjan in August might not be the place to do so. The rainy season lingers, the sky is gray, and cold showers – normally a relief – leave you breathless. As a pale tubabu, I embrace the grayness and […]

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