The Places

Congo: Rugabo Revisited

Twenty one months after my initial meeting with Rugabo, in August 1995, he made international headline news when his body was discovered, shot dead along with an adult female. The motive appeared to be kidnap as the poachers had made off with a baby gorilla, although it was subsequently retrieved a few days later near…

The Scams of Dakar

“I will eat you alive.” The young Japanese tourist stared at me helplessly as the customs guard grinned and said something that I didn’t understand. I would have helped him had I understood at all what in the hell he was saying, but I didn’t. In Dakar, tourists are separated and fleeced in an ever…

Insults in Pakistan

A particularly contentious insult utilised occasionally by some Pathan people, when challenged or insulted, is to point to one’s groin and invite them to “take it”. It is only used rarely, usually when the circumstances are heated and one is willing to back up the challenge, sometimes with their own life. An argument once broke…

Azad Jammu and Kashmir Interrupted

“Life is slow here,” remarked the thirty-something man next to me, as a cock crowed outside the door of the pharmacy of a friend of his we were in, a few kilometres from the centre of Muzaffarabad. A cow lazily walked by along the dusty path running parallel to the flowing Neelum river nearby, emphasising…

Liberia: A Backgrounder

Liberia: A Backgrounder Author: S. Kpanbayeazee Duworko, II Posted: 24 June, 2003 PREFACE For nearly twenty-five years, Liberia has hit major news headlines worldwide not for famous actions, but for infamous actions. These actions have not just dampened the country’s image; they have also caused the country to disintegrate rapidly, especially in the last ten…

Liberia: Regular Updates on an Irregular Situation

Liberia: Regular Updates on an Irregular Situation Author: Samuel Duworko II Posted: Ongoing Reprieve from Fighting in Monrovia Author: S. Kpanbayeazee Duworko, II Posted: 1 July, 2003 Monrovia, the Liberian capital, is today gradually returning to normal after nearly four days of fighting which left some 500 persons, mostly children and women, dead. The fighting…

Pakistan: No, Thank You

Before I came to Pakistan I thought that being identified as an Australian might have its drawbacks, due to the war in Iraq. But, as of yet, that has not been the case. Rather, Australia’s ground breaking win in the 2003 Cricket World Cup has been quite the conversation continuer, with a western face the…