Getting down with Joyce…

The new president elect, Joyce Banda’s budget speech was by any standard impressive. Whilst quoting Luther King’s Dream speech, she promised to balance the books, revitalise the flat- lined economy, address the meagre health and education provision, whilst stimulating growth and imposing austerity. The offer to sell the former leader’s presidential jet and to shrinkContinue reading “Getting down with Joyce…”

Kwacha at bed time…

Malawi’s former president is an easy target to blame for the country’s many shortcomings; Easy, because he died unexpectedly. The spin machinery omitted to announce this for three days partly in fear of unrest and revolt, and partly to give some time to make some very necessary adjustments in the nation’s fiscal records.  Power outages,Continue reading “Kwacha at bed time…”

The bird with no name…

Ethiopian Airways’ travel adviser log just does not make good reading. The elderly none liveried, Boeing 767-300, painted gloss white head to stern had no distinguishing marks apart from a compulsory call sign hastily stencilled slightly forward of its well-worn tail fin. Addis Ababa airport is undergoing a huge make-over and the old lady hadContinue reading “The bird with no name…”

The unplanned, the unpredictable and the unexpected…

The run up to this next African adventure feels more unplanned and unpredictable than ever. To those of you kind enough to follow these tales will know that is a quite a statement. Jules’ recent encounter en-captured by the Chichester local press sums it up succulently.  Good intentions, skilfully executed, are no match for an unkindly and unexpected elbowContinue reading “The unplanned, the unpredictable and the unexpected…”

A mountain full of stones…

Leaving Rwanda was never going to be easy. The exit visa was released 4 hours before check in and the Nairobi bound flight mysteriously took off 30 minutes early, decimating the ‘African time’ rule book. I have met a unique people, determined to push forward and to move mountains stone by stone. The challenges areContinue reading “A mountain full of stones…”

The costly paper-chase ..

Visa overstays however unintentional are inadvisable in a country whose immigration system is complex, and penalties severe. A hasty but welcome visit to the British Consulate, followed by an alarming one to Rwandan immigration resulted in a loss of passport, a sizeable fine, a day or three of bizarre paperwork and an expensive UK boundContinue reading “The costly paper-chase ..”