Thursday, December 09, 2010

Life Is a Balance

"A van careered off a mountain road and ended up balanced on a cliff edge. The vehicle plunged down a rock face in Colorado and dangled on a precipice 170ft from the ground. (The driver) tried to balance the weight of the van but in his confusion climbed onto the back seat which was already hanging off the cliff. Rescue crews managed to manoeuvre him from the van and up the cliff face before he was airlifted to hospital where he received treatment for minor injuries."
I saw the above picture while reading the Guardian online at my hotel in Nairobi about two weeks ago.  Since my return to South Africa 12 days ago I have managed to work in another visit to Kenya before the clock turns to 2011.

On Sunday I am going to Lamu the Island city that is a UNESCO "World Heritage Site".

Lamu's fate (culture and heritage) hangs in the balance so to speak.

The Kenyan government seems intent on turning Lamu into a trading port.  There is also strong evidence to suggest that the government is 'dumping' IDPs (internally displaced people) in Lamu.

The 1400 year history of Lamu hangs precariously.


Picture and caption Credit


eccentricyoruba said...

It's so distressing to hear about Lamu, I know some of its history...I hope you have a good time there.

Ridwan said...

Thank you kindly for your comment eccentricyoruba.

I share your distress hence the visit. It is in part a workshop/conference and a gathering of academics/researchers/activists to think through a coherent 'opposition' to the government's plan.

This is my first trip to Lamu so I am also excited to see the layers of history that 'lives' in the city without cars :)

Peace to you,

Dade said...

Lamu sounds intriguing. Take photos!

pserean said...

I hope your efforts are realised there in Lamu. Or at least organised, as such.

Too silent in this quarter!!
You shall have to make up for it by posting a flurry of articles when you return....
(Too demanding? Sorry about's wholly your fault... got used to you being the most 'punctual' blogger I know. Now we're feeling the void :)


Ridwan said...

Hello Dade:

Happy New Year to you and Maty my brother.

So sorry for the very late reply. I am back in South Africa.

I do have lots of pictures of Lamu including a few from an almost disastrous boat ride where we ran out of gas and the too small craft started to take on water.

We were saved about 30 minutes later but not without losing a few brain cells :)

Be well my friend.


Ridwan said...

Salaam Pserean:

I am sorry about the silence in this "quarter" but thank you very much for looking in.

Yes I promise to make it up with a "flurry" of posts in the coming week.

Right now I am in Kimberley with moms where it is raining a lot (unusual for Kimberly) but will be
back in Pretoria to continue with the Lamu project.

I trust you are well. May 2011 bring you peace, health, and happiness.

May it also bring 'us' more of your wonderful posts ... you must "promise" too :)

Be well and thanks again for looking in here.