Carryout chicken

You know you’re in Africa when… …after napping on a long road trip back from the bush, you reach your destination, look in the back of the truck and find your stuff has been joined by two huge sacks of…

Carryout chicken

You know you’re in Africa when… …after napping on a long road trip back from the bush, you reach your destination, look in the back of the truck and find your stuff has been joined by two huge sacks of…

Art deco Asmara

You can’t go to Asmara and not note the architecture. While most African capitals today are replete with drab, hulking towers from the 1960s and 1970s, the Eritrean capital, dating back to its days as an early-century Italian colonial pied-a-terre,…

Art deco Asmara

You can’t go to Asmara and not note the architecture. While most African capitals today are replete with drab, hulking towers from the 1960s and 1970s, the Eritrean capital, dating back to its days as an early-century Italian colonial pied-a-terre,…

Spy games

I’d been warned before going to Asmara that I might be spied upon. In the extremely small capital of an extremely secretive regime, diplomats told me they assumed they were being watched by their neighbors and probably even by some…

Spy games

I’d been warned before going to Asmara that I might be spied upon. In the extremely small capital of an extremely secretive regime, diplomats told me they assumed they were being watched by their neighbors and probably even by some…

On the air in Eritrea

I’ve just returned from a brief trip to Asmara, Eritrea, where I had the chance to interview Isaias Afwerki, the country’s only president in 16 years of independence. The Ministry of Information gave me less than a week to prepare,…

On the air in Eritrea

I’ve just returned from a brief trip to Asmara, Eritrea, where I had the chance to interview Isaias Afwerki, the country’s only president in 16 years of independence. The Ministry of Information gave me less than a week to prepare,…

Snapshots of Madagascar

Very few outsiders get to the poor island of Madagascar. Yet it’s one of the most fascinating places on Earth, with plant and animal species found nowhere else. Fortunately, my friend Robyn Dixon of the LA Times is there on…

Snapshots of Madagascar

Very few outsiders get to the poor island of Madagascar. Yet it’s one of the most fascinating places on Earth, with plant and animal species found nowhere else. Fortunately, my friend Robyn Dixon of the LA Times is there on…

Wyclef’s thought that counts

Nairobi put on a good show Saturday night at the annual MTV Africa Music Awards. There was more talent (Nigeria’s D’Banj, Kenya’s own Nameless), style (tight dresses, shiny sunglasses), celebrity (Akon, Wyclef Jean) than this city usually sees. I can’t…

Wyclef’s thought that counts

Nairobi put on a good show Saturday night at the annual MTV Africa Music Awards. There was more talent (Nigeria’s D’Banj, Kenya’s own Nameless), style (tight dresses, shiny sunglasses), celebrity (Akon, Wyclef Jean) than this city usually sees. I can’t…

Dark humor

I was walking out of a Nairobi movie theater last night. (Finally watched "Up." Enchanting.) An American friend saw this poster in the lobby and said: "Hey, a movie about the next Kenyan election!" I laughed. Our three Kenyan friends…

Dark humor

I was walking out of a Nairobi movie theater last night. (Finally watched "Up." Enchanting.) An American friend saw this poster in the lobby and said: "Hey, a movie about the next Kenyan election!" I laughed. Our three Kenyan friends…