In which Bangui sees the Pope Francois come and go in a Holy Whirl

So. The Pope arrived here in Bangui this morning just slightly late at 10.45 am. I heard his plane touch down, the Presidential cavalcade screeching its way past the airport, and later this afternoon hymns from the Cathedral mass drifted up to my … [Continue reading]

In which tennis becomes a political statement

These last couple of weeks in Bangui have been very stressful. Between 24 September - 2 October an eruption of violence, politically orchestrated and clearly calculated to bring down the discredited Transitional Government, killed at least 77 people. … [Continue reading]

how to write about the Central African Republic

Having previously pondered how pushed-for-time reporters tend to write about life, and more especially death, here in the Central African Republic (CAR) I thought I'd post my own guide to writing about CAR. With a nod and heavy wink to Binyavanga … [Continue reading]

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 … [Continue reading]

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 … [Continue reading]

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 … [Continue reading]

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 … [Continue reading]

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 … [Continue reading]

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 … [Continue reading]

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 … [Continue reading]