The past week, visiting Holland, I've been running around more than the squirrel Hammy from Over the Hedge on a good day. Both work, HDN as well as my own, and then meeting old friends because, when you visit your home country once or twice a year, there really can be a lot to talk about.
Last year, a childhood friend tracked me down with whom I'm now in quite regular contact. Just a few weeks ago, a second childhood friend tracked me down. Obviously, these mega popular social networks are at least good for something.
In both cases, we'd hung out a lot, as kids, but lost track some 20 years ago. Twenty years! Obviously meaning that I'm really an old man, now.
What's possibly more surprising, in both cases, is the ease with which communication and, I suppose, mutual understanding, was picked up again. Apparently, our early years have a strong effect on defining who we are as human beings. We might give shape to our values and our way of life during our teenage and early twenty-something years, but it seems the underlying emotional landscape acts on a more basic level and allows for stronger and more understanding connections.
Taking a crab walk back to Bangkok, I'm flying through Johannesburg,
threefour times, before heading back out east. First to get to Harare, then to get to Lusaka, then to get back to Harare and then back to Bangkok. I'm supposed to be giving trainings for HDN in all three locations, but will also spend some time on my own projects. Specifically, in Johannesburg, I'll do some work on SACSIS.org.za, a social news portal, which is set to be launched on May 5th, Karl Marx' birthday. And in Harare, I'll do work for SAfAIDS.
And, of course, I'll be visiting Rouzeh in Harare.
In Harare, I'm set to stay at the the Small World lodge. Indeed, the same lodge/hostel where we stayed in 2004. A night's stay currently comes in at a respectable 2.000.000.000. Yes, that's two billion Zimdollars.
Well, that was the price a week ago.
Meanwhile, in Zimbabe, they started to recount the presidential votecount yesterday. Mugabe seems to hope that, as the election process drags out, it will be given less and less coverage in the international press and he'll be able to get away with whatever it is he's planning for.
Which could be quite something, as a Chinese ship with arms, destined for Zimbabwe, ended up being stuck in Durban, South Africa, yesterday, after local dockworkers refused to offload the ship's cargo.
So far, Zimbabwe has remained surprisingly calm. Let's hope things stay that way.