Reasons to be poignant in Bangui

Sometimes, when looking at scenes of my daily life in Bangui – like the MBYE nightclub where I dance most weekends and the Bangui Rock Club where I play tennis – I am struck by the fact these images aren’t represented by any international media coverage of the Central African Republic (CAR). This country has […]

In which the Bangui National Forum Needs to Move On…..

The Bangui National Forum is just over. The last speech rang out in the Parliament late this afternoon; tomorrow’s Air France flight from Bangui – Paris will be packed with suits, flying back to Europe to file reports on possibilities for peace in CAR.  For those of us who are not leaving (I’ve been here […]

The Bangui Forum – national Dialogue or political Disaster?

The freshly-painted banners are lying on grass banks drying out in the sun: mobile phones are bleeping with sms texts announcing ‘the Bangui Forum –  flame of hope.’ Bangui’s diminutive M’Poko airport is rammed with visitors coming to the forum which will run from 4-11 May. But what’s it really all about? When journalists write […]

In which I write a stream of consciousness because it’s late, for me, and because I’m in recovery

Is it too late to say happy new year? Surely not, because it is a happy new year for me, and I warrant you can carry on basking in the new year glow until at least mid January. I spent Christmas here in sunny dusty Bangui (the rainy season finally dried out mid December) and we […]

After the violence, the calm?

Well hello! It’s been a while, but I’ve finally found a time to write about life here in the quartiers of Bangui in the Central African Republic. To set the tone: just about 45 minutes ago I was standing inside a sweltering bakery, inhaling the aroma of fresh bread, and even the bread-furnace-heat couldn’t drive […]

The Republic of Peace Keepers

I am back in Bangui; to be honest I’ve been back here for a couple of months, but simply haven’t been able to find the time to write. It’s because I’ve got a job. Yes! I am finally working for an NGO, so I get up early and get myself ready and go off to […]

In Which Better News Leans In

Hello there, and good afternoon! As you read this, the world seems engorged with violence: Syria, Iraq, Gaza, the Central African Republic (CAR) And dozens of other bloody conflicts are ripping apart communities and whole nations, traumatising generations of raped and maimed women men, and children forced to witness the unspeakable. Which is why I […]

Why the Central Africa Republic is broken but not shattered

It’s been a while, but I am now back to my desk, and my blog. I’ve missed you, and couldn’t stay away any longer. I was going to call this post ‘Bienvenue Madam le President,’ in recognition of Mme. Catherine Samba-Panza’s recent inauguration as the first female President of the Central African Republic (CAR). Having […]

Bangui has become different cities

This morning my corner of Bangui was quiet. I live on the riverfront, and drink early morning coffee as I watch people walking towards the city centre market. Since Saturday, there have been more people walking each morning, including young men wheeling coffins into town. each increment seems like a small positive sign. I live […]

Bangui: death, devastation, glints of hope

There are few ‘facts on the ground’ to go by, as this bloody and grim Central African situation is still evolving. But having been out on the streets of Bangui for the last couple of days, I can offer these glimpses of what life is like here at the moment, and what the people of […]