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The Juggernaut

In late October I met a Chinese commercial diplomat in Nairobi, a one-man engine of optimism and immense hope for Kenya’s development and long-term prosperity. In a two and a…

Sex and The Velveteen Rabbit (in Nairobi)

What a Nairobi radio hostess who busts marital cheaters can teach us about love. Yes there has been a huge hiatus in my writings here.  Since my last post, I’ve…

The Great Nairobi-Chinese Railway Bazaar

A few weeks have passed.  After awhile the string of conversations and interviews begins to blur. The faces don’t, exactly, but the impressions they make are something like Georges Seurat’s…

“I Had Three Farms in Africa…”

My 24 year old landlady, the R&B rapper, Wangechi Waweru Mwende, survived a horrific car accident four years ago. Today she’s rebuilding her life and career without much fuss or desire…

On Nairobi’s Ngong Road, Nothing is as it Seems

Try making judgements about human beings and groups and tribes and nations just by what you read in the media. Then, go out into the streets. Hire a bilingual  Uber/Littlecub/Taxify…

Not Quite Prepared for Hazards in Paradise — Indonesia Suffers Again from Tsunami Buoys that Don’t Work

I wrote the story on Indonesia’s attempts at natural disaster warning and prevention for Earth magazine last April, based on reporting I did in Indonesia in late December. Now with…

Rambo in Tanzania

After staying in Nairobi 24 hours on no sleep, I took a flight to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania  to attend a conference entitled Africa-Asia:  ‘A New Axis of Knowledge 2.’ …

Beginning again in Nairobi

Dawn: Mwingi Rd., Kileleshwa, Nairobi. My Lufthansa flight -an Airbus A340-300 — touched down last night at 8:11 pm local time.  It has taken me an entire summer to prepare…

Elegy to the one Maria Callas

My Mom’s best friend, my surrogate mother growing up, was an opera singer named Maria Callas. No, not that Maria Callas, the tempestuous vocal genius and companion to Aristotle Onassis. This…

Saving Face: How One Pioneering Surgeon is Pushing the Limits of Facial Transplants

[Read full story in Smithsonian.com] His reconstructed faces have tongues that taste and eyelids that blink. But will they withstand the test of time? [Dec. 9, 2016] There have been…