Back Home, the Persistent Virus

I went for a walk this morning along the estuary that separates Alameda from Oakland.  Clear sunny skies, the nearside of the estuary like glass, reflecting the modest skyline of downtown Oakland. The freeway, not far from the other side of the water, normally going full tilt this time of day, is ... [Continue Reading]

China in Africa, Carbolic Soap

China's penetration of the African continent is large, having invested almost $300 BN from 2015 to 2018, in roads, dams, airports, hospitals, schools, stadiums and power plants as part of its "Belt and Road" initiative to extend its influence and control around the globe.  China is Africa's largest ... [Continue Reading]

The Niger River, Four Miracles

Jim and Jodi and I went for dinner at a stilt supported restaurant on an Island in the Niger River in downtown Niamey.  As the sun set in a fiery ball of heat in the heavy Harmattan triggered haze, we could feel the temperature drop several degrees as we boarded the outboard motor driven skiff that ... [Continue Reading]

Niamey, A Hausa Church

I like to go for walks around the neighborhood where my guest house is located early in the morning,   along broad dusty streets planted with mature trees. The air is cooler (That is to say not scorching) and things are quiet; one feels that the City is waking up.  Women walk by balancing loads on ... [Continue Reading]

Missionaries, The Humble Plastic Container

James' well used Land Rover decided that its transmission linkage wasn’t going to work anymore, so our driver ended up shifting into a gear (3rd or 5th depending on the desired cruising speed), starting the engine and slipping the clutch just enough that the vehicle would pick up speed, rather than ... [Continue Reading]

Gold in Ghana, A Mining Town

Gold really doesn't have a of a lot of practical uses other than dental fillings (Now replaced with synthetics) and some electronics.  Mostly, it looks nice.  It is durable and soft, so easy to shape into jewelry, doesn't corrode and continues to hold an allure for many. Spain's brutal conquest ... [Continue Reading]

Megacities, KLIM

I am in Lagos this week, staying in a business hotel on Victoria Island, the well to do center of Lagos and part of a stretch of land separating the Lagos Lagoon from the Atlantic Ocean.  You can feel the expanse of water here the way you can feel the Gulf in New Orleans. Humidity, heat, a dampness ... [Continue Reading]

Accra Medical Centre, Sickle Cell Anemia

One of my coaching clients is Accra Medical Centre; Moses and Cynthia are building a network of hospitals here in Ghana.  Health care is radically underserved here - Ghana is a poor country - and the demand for better facilities (By folks who can pay) is enormous. Moses trained as a accountant ... [Continue Reading]

A Funeral, Prosperity Theology

One or our colleague’s fathers had passed recently at a ripe old age - he was 92 - and this called for his son and his siblings to organize a significant funeral celebration. Funerals in Ghana are large affairs - the extended family, often organized by tribe, is invited and, if the deceased ... [Continue Reading]

The Nigerian Airport Experience. Dash

I had originally been scheduled to leave Abuja for Port Harcourt, about an hour South of the nation's capital on the coast, but arrived at the somewhat discombobulating counter experience - crowds of folks, some guys either baggage handlers or touts or both, airlines (About 1/2 dozen domestic ... [Continue Reading]