Friday, January 26, 2007

Joel on Nairobi

Much to say about this place and the wsf, all full of contradictions.But Nairobi is a cosmopolitan city and the people are lovely--with the significant exception of the thieves, who really make life problematic. Let's just say that Nairobi has the unenviable reputation of being the crime capital of Africa, worse--yes--than Johannesburg and Lagos, and of course, far worse than Durban. The police shot dead 25 people between last Friday and Tuesday, while losing two of their own. A very nice cabblie with whom I was riding, when asked about this, opined that it was a good thing, then went off into the time his car was stolen, shot-up, robbed at gunpoint, etc, plus how his friend was murdered. This is not WIllow.
Wsf, just over, was a lovely mess. The best thing about it is the wonderful spectacle of humanity in struggle, interacting, meeting, touching. There's no Big Breakthrough at events like this, but the networking definitely has positive results, and nobody I spoke to regretted being here despite the innumerable silliness and irritation. And there's a special joy in being close for a moment to the African people.
(From Joel's letter to Molly)


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