The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

I’ve written about the Child Witch Hysteria in Africa before. It pains me to have to do so again. But the crisis has not abated. A new, disturbingly detailed report has come out, entitled Branded and beaten: The children accused of witchcraft and murder. It focuses on Nigeria in particular. It discusses how the local …

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Every day in Africa, hundreds of children are declared to be witches. Once this happens, their lives are effectively over. They are tortured for confessions, abandoned by their families or murdered by villagers. Schools will no longer teach them. Hospitals will no longer treat them. These children are blamed for any family misfortune. Disease, miscarriage, …

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I remember distinctly the first time I saw a picture of a pangolin. I was browsing a coffee table book on Africa at a friend’s house. I thought it was some sort of a joke. They look like the love child of an artichoke and an aardvark. But the situation got even more strange when …

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I get it. We have neither the money, the time, the moral currency, nor the manpower to intervene in every international atrocity. God knows we’ve left Tibet dangling since 1951, Burma since 1962 and I could talk for hours about various coups in Africa and the Middle East. But what stuns me is how quickly …

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Someone just bought the bike from the film Easy Rider for 1.35 million dollars. Stuff like this makes me want to scream. For a little bit of perspective, I did some research. Here’s what I found out. 1.35 million dollars equals any one of the following: 54,000 microloans on Kiva.org, which in turn would allow …

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This is Kimani Ng’ang’a Maruge. He spent most of his life fighting for the independence of Kenya. For his troubles he saw his wife and two children slaughtered before his very eyes by the British Imperialists. He also spent 8 years in prison where he was tortured. They whipped him, they cut off his toes. …

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I love cemeteries. They’re so full of history. So when I’m given the opportunity to take a tour of one, I always take advantage of it. Years ago, I took a tour of the Old Jacksonville City Cemetery, and we were led to a little building which, frankly, I thought at first was a tool …

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Every once in a while I like to pick an obscure topic and learn about it. I get that from my mother. She would have loved the internet! This time, after a nice chat with my friends Caly and Morgaine (waving hello!) about small countries that we don’t know much about, I remembered that I’ve …

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