The Week in Review

It’s been exactly a week since I opened a blog and wrote what I thought was simply a “place-holder” post to see how this crazy thing works. Suddenly, Jim West blew my cover and more than 200 people visited. What can I say; the rumors about him were all true. Nothing passes him by, and hundreds of people are under his spellbinding power. (That first day equals the total number that checked in for the rest of the week.) Now it’s pretty much back to what I originally expected – a very few friends and family. Just in time for me to start boring you with dissertation details ;-).

It sadly hasn’t been the week I would have hoped to have. After weeks of relative calm, everyone was on pins and needles again. Some of the news we heard and pictures we saw were just sickening. The stories of Phoebe and Richard, two of my closest friends here, definitely put life in perspective. (see earlier posts).

Family: But just to illustrate the paradox of the times we live in, how totally normal life seems here, Kiara (7) and Leila (4) are spending their first overnight with a friend, Michelle, about 15 minutes out in the country from here. It is a true Kenyan experience. (The only other place they’ve ever spent the night away from us is with grandma.) Kiara chickened out on Friday night, so Michelle spent the night with us. She still didn’t know about spending the night this morning, but packed her overnight bag just in case. Leïla begged to go at the last minute, which is probably the only reason Kiara is being brave enough to spend the night. She called me at 7:00 saying she wanted me to pick Christi to pick her up because she was “bored”. Christi asked her if she could just try to spend the night since it was almost bed-time and she said she would try it. Leila was not about to let us come pick her up

Links of the Day

First a token nod to biblical studies: “Sadistic approaches to teaching biblical languages.” John Hobbins has had a lot of good posts this week, so browse a little.

US Embassy Situation Update

Local and Regional papers are quite insightful – particularly the opinion sections. Nation, Standard, Ugandan Monitor for example. Check left side links for “Opinion” or “Commentary.”

A Sobering opinion from a Ugandan “Why Uganda and Kenya are headed both headed for disaster“; also see here – “Killers are not born, they are made.”

a few factors that cannot be addressed by a handshake. The ever increasing population (from 9 -30 million in 45 years), a very young population (average age: 18 years) an economy that can’t keep pace with the population growth, ever increasing urbanisation, a yawning chasm between the rich and the poor, pressure on productive land (80 per cent of Kenyan land is arid and semi- arid), the endemic corruption at every level of society, rising expectations of the rural and urban young, particularly the educated, and unacceptable levels of joblessness.

the most dangerous creature on earth is a young man without a job, whether in Newcastle, New Orleans, Najaf, Nairobi, or Nakulabye. Such dangerous creatures need very little provocation to engage in violence.

NY Times reports that we’ve moved now from ethnic violence to pure theivery.

Have a happy Sunday!!

 

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