Author Archives: Africa Clockwise

KALRO Kindness

The Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organisation KALRO was a haven for the Big Green Truck in Nairobi. Sampson had made the contact when he brought the house down presenting at a science education conference at the Unizulu Science Centre … Continue reading

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A Pause for Sophia (Sick Consciousness part 1)

To mark Severe ME Awareness Day 2021, 30 years after I first fell victim to post-viral ‘fatigue’, and 3 years since I first vowed to do it, I finally got strong enough to get a Pause tattoo. In my August … Continue reading

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Some Equators Are More Equal Than Others

The morning before we crossed into Kenya, when Sampson announced he needed a day off to rest, I was hugely relieved there would be no border duty that day. The previous evening, we’d stopped in deserted bush 75km before the … Continue reading

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#LonghaulersUnite 2: Chronic COVID Time Bomb Ticking

COVID-19 is not simply a binary threat of life or death: the third outcome is a spectrum of post-viral symptoms seriously affecting even young survivors’ abilities to work, study and parent. A year ago, I wrote about how the growing … Continue reading

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Downhill

The first time I ever met Ethiopians* was when I was volunteering in the Soetwater refugee camp in May 2008, a couple of days after an outbreak of xenophobic violence across South Africa had caused an exodus of immigrants from … Continue reading

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Altitude

NB After 14 months’ successful shielding to avoid COVID-19 in Cape Town – thanks to scrupulous hygiene protocols observed by Sampson – I succumbed within 14 days of arriving in a coronasceptic house here in Cabo Verde. I tested positive … Continue reading

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#MillionsMore?

On the eve of ME Awareness week and the annual May 12th #MillionsMissing campaign, I’m interrupting the Africa Clockwise story for a moment to update you about the risk of #MillionsMore. Last July, in the blog #LonghaulersUnite, I warned that … Continue reading

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Menelik’s Window

Not only does Ethiopia’s calendar drag behind a little mulishly, we found 1km there can often feel like 5. The map showed two roads out of Lalibela; the one we’d come in on from Gondar was so rough, we figured … Continue reading

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Black Monuments Matter

Ruby and I had to admit Sampson had been right: the appallingly steep ascent into Lalibela would’ve killed Big Reg’s engine if we’d carried on in the heat of the day before. Even more challenging, the road was still in … Continue reading

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Lean In

In Ethiopia, people greet by grasping right hands before leaning their right shoulders to touch each other. ‘Leaning in’ is exactly how you need to approach the country and its people. It’s not for the fainthearted, but very rewarding if … Continue reading

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