Monday, 4 May 2015

Dark Star Safari Part 1 - The Dusty North

Sometimes, not often, but sometimes I will encounter a book that I simply cannot wait until I finish it before I start sharing my thoughts. Usually it is because there is simply so much that has been crammed into the book that by the time that I get to the end I simply cannot remember all of the significant details. Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux is one of those books. I will start off by saying that I do not intend this to be a review - if you want a review you can find one in The Guardian and the New York Times, as well as a tonne of user reviews on Goodreads. Rather, what I wish to do here is share my experiences as I travel with the author on his journey from Cairo to Capetown. However before I go onto that, I should say a few things about the author, and the book itself.

Who is Paul Theroux?
Popular Penguin - Dark Star SafariWell, the edition that I am reading, namely the Popular Penguin, has a brief introduction on the author, and you can also (as everybody probably already knows), learn more about him on Wikipedia. Anyway, Theroux is a writer, which you probably had already worked out because I am writing a post on a book that he has written, and since it is a Popular Penguin, then he is quite a successful one at that. After graduating from university, he joined the newly formed Peace Corps and travelled to Malawi where he became a teacher. However, what the Penguin edition doesn't mention (but Wikipedia does), is that after helping a political enemy of the government, he was kicked out of the country, made a persona-non-gratia, and subsequently banned from re-entering.

Paul TherouxAfter that little escapade, he then moved to Uganda (the same Uganda famous for Idi Amnin, and The Lord's Resistance Army) where he continued his role as a teacher. It was during this time that he met his wife and got married. As the political situation in Uganda began to deteriorate (which included getting caught up in a rather violent mob - though he was protected by his car), they both decided that it was time to leave - and leave they did. They first travelled to Singapore, and then later to the United Kingdom, where he continued his teaching career, as well as his writing endeavours (he had already published at least one book in Uganda, and another book, Jungle Lovers, further incensed the government of Malawi).

The Tourist Industry
Anyway, the book itself is basically a travel diary, though it is not set out as a diary (that is with date headings and all that). I believe that you can also call these books travelogues, as they are more about the author's experiences as he (or she) travels around meeting with people and experiencing what the land has to offer. They are not travel guides, at least not in the sense of the Lonely Planet Guides that seem to be located in almost every bookshop, at least here in Australia, but rather a diary of their experiences. The good one also bring in a lot of the history so that you can understand the background of the places that are being visited. In a way I try to do that with my posts on my travels, since they are more about experience than a review of the place that I have visited (and if you do want reviews, there are plenty on Trip Advisor, Yelp, and Lonely Planet.

TouristI guess this brings me to my piece on the modern tourist industry. Now, I believe that there is a difference between a tourist and a traveller. I am sure that we all have images of the tourist in their bright hawaiian shirt, their hat, and a camera around their neck (though these days the camera is probably on their smart phone), or the backpacker wandering around with an over-sized backpack with a group of other young people out experiencing the world? So, you are probably wandering how they differ from a traveller? Well, my suggestion is that a tourist does what they do simply as another form of entertainment, while a traveller does what they do because they actually want to learn something.

The thing is that tourists tend to stand out from the crowd. They gawk, take loads of photos, stay at decent hotels, and generally only travel so that when they return home they can then brag that they have outdone all of their friends on this year's holiday. Also, they tend to only visit the stock standard places - The Vatican the the Colosseum in Rome, the Acropolis in Greece, the Eiffel Tower in Paris - I take you get my meaning? The other thing is that not only don't they mingle with the locals, they tend to treat them as some sort of exhibit in a zoo. This is much more the case when they are visiting less developed nations, but the same thing generally happens when they visit a country that doesn't speak their native tongue. I am sure many a tourist in France have had this said to them:
N'importe si vous parlez lentement, je ne comprends toujours pas l'anglais. Cretin.
Anyway, unlike tourists, travellers simply don't visit places to score points against their friends, but rather they wish to not only experience foreign lands, but to get to know and understand places that simply are not their home. Rather than treating the locals like some form of entertainment, they seek to get to know them and to understand them better. They eat at the local restaurants, visit the places that are sometimes off the tourist track, and they go and learn about this other land. Some, like me (and Theroux) even go and write about it.

Lower Egypt - It's Not Africa
Before I continue I should make a note that a lot has changed since this book was published. Theroux visited Cairo, probably in 2000 - 2001, and the book was published in 2002. Since that time Egypt has gone through two governments, which included a short-lived, and somewhat failed, experiment in democracy (though after the Muslim Brotherhood was ousted from power and the military once again took over, they ended up having further elections in which the former army chief was elected president). However, places like Cairo don't really change all that much - at least on the inside. While the government, and the cityscape, may change the people in many cases stay very much the same. If I were to visit Cairo now I would no doubt still be fighting off the many hawkers trying to get their share of the tourist dollar, all the while making sure that my wallet, and my mobile phone, don't end up becoming somebody else's property without my permission.

Cairo is very much a tourist destination - it has always been, and as long as our modern society continues, it will continue as such. Okay, there were some disruptions during the protests, and the subsequent ousting of the Mubarak and Morsi regimes. However Egypt simply has this ability to attract tourists and to attract them en mass. Most likely it has a lot to do with these things:

Giza Pyramids

To be honest with you, I really don't blame them - this is one of the many reasons that I wish to go to Egypt (though my Grandfather was sorely disappointed when he finally realised his dream).

However, one of the interesting things that Theroux says about the modern digital age is that travelling is not the same as it used to be, and hasn't been ever since the invention of the camera, and these days with the internet (though this was before the development of what has become Google Maps and all of its component parts). Before the camera, all we had was paintings and the written word. When Flaubert travelled to Egypt he was astounded at sighting the sphinx, and promptly wrote a detailed description of his encounter (like me, Theroux takes lots of books with him on his journey, particularly books that are relevant to the places he is visiting - he makes a comment that he will be reading Conrad's Heart of Darkness many, many times on his journey). Okay they had paintings, such as this one:

Napoleon at the Sphinx

But what photography, and by extension the internet, has done is that it has taken the excitement and the wonder out of visiting places that you have truly only read about. Mind you, I don't necessarily share his scepticism as when I first laid eyes on the Eiffel Tower, or walked past Big Ben, I would still stare up at them in amazement. As for Stonehenge, well, like countless others before me, I looked at it and said - gee, it's not as big as I expected, to which the tour guide replied: what did you expect, Disneyland?

The other thing about Cairo, despite the fact that it is located in the North-eastern corner of the African continent, is that people just don't seem to equate Cairo, or even Egypt for that matter, with Africa. I even asked my Lebanese friend if he thought Cairo was in Africa, to which he replied "no, it is in the Middle-East". Personally, even though I know where Cairo is located, I am inclined to agree with him. To me Egypt isn't even a part of North Africa, it is a part of the Middle-East, and it is not just the ignorant tourist, but the locals also see themselves as being Middle-Eastern as opposed to African. In the end I guess it really doesn't matter whether they are Middle-Eastern or African, because they still hold an Egyptian passport, and the passport doesn't dictate what continent you come from.

Upper Egypt - Land of the Dead
Egypt Satelite ViewThe term upper and lower Egypt apparently go back to the days of the ancient empire, and are positioned in a way based upon the flow of the Nile. Like all rivers, the Nile flows from its sources to the sea, so the section closer to the delta has always been seen as the lower part of the river. In fact Egypt, for pretty much all of its existence, and through its many incarnations from Kemet, land of the Pharoahs, through the Ptolemaic Aegyptus, to the modern Arab Republic of Egypt (see the Middle-Eastern connection?) has always been inextricably tied to the Nile. If you have a look at a map, or even look on Google Earth, you will see that a narrow ribbon of green winds its way through a land that is pretty much entirely covered in desert. Most, if not all, of the towns are located either in the delta to the north, or along the river. Okay, there are a number of resorts along the Red Sea coast, and in the Sinai Peninsula, as well as a few scattered towns, no doubt located in oases, however beyond that Egypt is predominantly desert.

I have discovered a couple of maps on the internet that outline Theroux's route, however they are not as accurate as they could have been. For instance, he travels by train from Cairo down to Aswan (at the top of the country) and then catches a boat that takes him down river to Luxor and the valley of the kings (I have to be careful because I am tempted to put Cairo at the top and Aswan at the bottom, whereas points in Egypt are determined by the flow of the Nile). Aswan is basically the furthest south in Egypt that you can go (and Theroux was hoping to get a visa to enter the Sudan, but due to a couple of missile strikes in 1998, they weren't too keen on letting Americans into their country, so while he was waiting he decided to travel to upper Egypt). Also, after he had finished off at Luxor, he then caught a train to a resort by the Red Sea, where he discovered that his visa had been approved, and then flew to Khartoum (since the borders were closed). Anyway, here is the map of the part of his journey I wish to follow in this post:

Northern Route

I have got a little bit too far ahead of myself because I am still at the point where Theroux is exploring the realms of the upper Nile. Back in the days of Kemet (which is translated as 'The Black Land', referring to the rich soil of the Nile) the west bank of the Nile was basically reserved for the dead - none of the ancient cities were built on that side, only the tombs, and as such that is where you will discover the famous Valley of the Kings, which was originally constructed by the Middle Kingdom after reuniting the empire after the First Intermediate Period (during which Egypt had been conquered by the Hysosks). The necropolis, as it is known, was located on the opposite bank from the capital Thebes.

It is interesting how Theroux describes the inane tourists that he was travelling with at the time. Mind you, I don't think he was necessarily rude, and would join them for dinner if invited, however despite being taken around these historic sites they would always be asking questions that one could tell that they weren't really all that interested in knowing the answer. Mind you, they didn't have any archaeologists, or Egyptologists, with them, but then again I am not really surprised since they generally don't like joining in with tour groups. I ought to know because one of my hobbies is archaeology and the last thing I wished to do when I was in Greece was to travel around with a tour group seeing things only they wanted me to see, and not being able to spend time really exploring one of the many ancient sites.

Actually, I discovered how painful it can be travelling with tour groups when I was in Naples. My brother and I signed up for a tour of Pompeii, and one of the first things that I discovered was that they actually don't like people who know more than them. That was especially true in Rome when we were convinced to join a 'cut the line' tour of the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill, only to discover that we were pretty much rushed through the Colosseum, and the guy that took us around the Palatine Hill didn't know what he was talking about (however covered that up by telling a lot of jokes). However, to be fair, the tour guide in Pompeii, and the one in the Colosseum, clearly did know their topic (however we were still rushed through the place, and then I discovered that we could have easily caught a train to Pompeii, and that my brother's pension card would not only have enabled us to cut the line at the Colosseum, but get in for free as well).

The final thing that Theroux describes was how one thing you will notice when you visit these sights is the amount of graffiti that covers the wall, and not simply 'Ahmed was here 94' sprayed painted over the hieroglyphics, but graffiti that dated back to before the Roman Empire (and that is not counting the Early Christians who would deliberately deface many of the relics due to their pagan origins). The thing about spray paint is that it can be removed - eventually - however the graffiti artists of the ancient world (and later) would spend a considerable amount of time chiseling their inane remarks into the walls of the temples and tombs (after robbing them of course).

Roman Graffiti
It says 'B. Mure is an idiot' in Latin
Oh, I should also mention, if there were a people that were as good, and as prolific, with graffiti as us moderns, you can't go past the Romans.

The Sudan-The Gateway
KhartoumWell, since the borders had been closed, poor Theroux could only enter the Sudan by plane, and the plane took him directly to Khartoum. Once again Khartoum has changed a lot since Theroux visited the place, and simply typing it into Google Images will reveal pictures of many modern buildings. Mind you, many of these buildings were thanks to the Chinese, who have invested heavily in the country (and unlike us Westerners, have little care for a country's human rights record). However, despite all of the horror stories of Americans being detained, and a fundamentalist Islamic government in charge at war with the south and the west of the country (though the south has since split to become South Sudan, though they are still at war), there is an almost exotic feel about this place.

Khartoum Skyline

One great website that I have discovered if you are a bit of a traveller (no, not Trip Advisor, though I do post reviews on the site), is Wikitravel. They have basically every place that you could conceivably visit. Mind you, I really like plugging in places that would be a no-go zone for your average tourist (such a Somalia), but then as has been suggested by Theroux, most tourists don't travel south of Egypt. However, they do have a post on Sudan, with a massive warning suggesting that you stay well away from the South and the West (though I do know somebody that regularly visits South Sudan, but then again he does live there). They also have a post on Khartoum, but you would probably have expected that anyway.

Khartoum lies at the confluence of the White and Blue Nile, and the city is divided into three separate districts, with Khartoum proper located between the Blue and the White Nile, with Omdurman on the western bank, and Bahri on North-eastern bank. From what Theroux explains, the city is blistering hot during the day and freezing at night, which is not all that surprising since it is located in the middle of the Sahara desert. It is a relatively new city, having been first established in the 19th century.

Mahdist War
One thing that I like about these travel diaries is the history that the author shares with us, and one of the things that is regularly referenced is the Mahdist War from 1881 to 1899. This came about with the rise of the Islamic Cleric Muhammed Ahmed, who preached a fundamentalist version of Islam and that they should throw off the shackles of oppression (which, at the time, was the Kingdom of Egypt). However, Britain soon took de-facto control of Egypt and thus the Mahdi Army suddenly became their problem. So, they sent an inexperienced, and underpaid, force into the Sudan to put an end to this native uprising. However this wasn't to be because when William Hicks arrived with his force he came across an army of incredibly bloodthirsty and battle-ready Sudanese. Needless to say that their army was obliterated. The British, after a few more unsuccessful exhibitions, quietly withdrew to Egypt.

Horatio Kitchener PosterA policy of containment kept the Mahdists (otherwise known as Dervishes) within the boundaries of the Sudan for the next ten years, however with an Italian defeat in Ethiopia, French encroachment from Lybia, and an all out scramble for Africa in the late 1890s, the British realised that the Mahdi problem needed to be dealt with sooner rather than later. So, in 1896, Horatio Kitchener (the same Kitchener that appears on all of those World War I recruitment posters), was sent with a garrison into the Sudan where he successfully wiped out Dervish garrison. However, it wasn't until 1898 that the first serious engagement took place, when Kitchener led a much larger force into the Sudan, this time with the intention of taking Khartoum. This force was much better armed, and much better trained. They reached Khartoum (actually Omdurman - but then again same difference) in September where they were attacked by the bulk of the Dervish army. It was then that the Dervishes discovered that superior numbers were no match for a machine gun, so 30000 Dervish and 700 British casualties later, the Mahdists were defeated and Britain was back in charge of the Sudan.

When Theroux left Khartoum to travel north, it was generally against wise instruction. This is still very much the case today, especially if you check the warnings on Wikitravel (though they are more concerned about the South and the West, which are probably not on many tourists' bucket lists). The thing about many of these countries is that the government has limited control over much of the region outside of the capital city. Even in the other major cities they may not have effective control, with the local governor running the place like his (or her, though since the Sudan is an Islamic country, it will generally be a him) own little fiefdom. Sometimes the government has little control over their own military, with generals and commanders acting like warlords, and the police being little more than 'licensed thieves'. Even in Egypt travel outside of Cairo can be exceptionally dangerous, with tourists being attacked at the Valley of the Kings.

However, to the north of Khartoum are the remains of the ancient Nubian empire, with pyramids and everything. The people of northern Sudan are very proud of their ancient heritage, but then you will also discover that in Ethiopia as well. The Nubians (and they still refer to themselves as Nubians) consider themselves the real ancient Egyptians, claiming that they were they ones who originally inhabited the Nile delta, and were the ones who brought the art of pyramid building to the Land of the Pharaohs. The thing about Northern Sudan is that you will not find the place swarming with tourists - this is not a place for them, rather it is a place of archaeologists, egyptologists, and people (like me) who are really interested in ancient ruins.

Out here Theroux also discovered the disconnect between the government, the security forces, and the people. The people are not the government and the government are not the people. Sure, they may hate America, but they do not have Americans. They understand that Americans are not the government, in the same way that they are not the Sudanese government. There is also a much stronger connection between the people in that they are willing to help strangers - in fact they do not know the word stranger because to them stranger is another word for brother. As such if they see somebody stranded in the desert it is in their nature to stop and help them, even if by doing so they will be inconvenienced, but then they do not have the same concept of time as we have. It is out here that you see the true Sudan, and the true Sudanese. They are not the corrupt police, the oppressive government, nor the Islamic fundamentalists (who, while only a few, are still a very dangerous).

Ethiopia - The Ancient Highlands
Unfortunately for Theroux he was unable to jump into a car and drive over to Ethiopia because, once again, the border was closed. Instead, he travels by plane to Addis Abba, the capital of Ethiopia. The funny thing is that despite it being one of those places that people in the west really don't think all that much about, I have actually met people who lived in Ethiopia (and I believe one of them still does) and a group who travelled there simply to climb a mountain (and there are plenty of mountains in Ethiopia).

Ethiopian Mountains

A quick glance on Wikitravel suggests that there are no imminent dangers in Ethiopia of which one should be aware, however like most developing countries one should always be exercising some degree of caution. Like the Sudan, Ethopia is also a very ancient land where the inhabitants are very proud of their heritage. In fact Ethiopia is one of the few African countries that still uses their own script, which is almost as old as the land itself. Mind you, if it wasn't for the fact that Mussolini used gas to subdue the inhabitants when he invaded in 1935, Ethiopia might have sat beside Thailand as being the only other country never to be colonised by a European State (the Italians' first attempted, unsuccessfully, to invade in 1889).

Anyway, before I go any further, I wish to touch upon a couple of Ethiopia's neighbours (at the time Theroux was writing this book, Ethiopia was still at war with Eritrea, and it had yet to become an independent state).

One of this things I love the most about this small country on the Horn of Africa is that it has a really cool name. However, funnily enough Wikipedia seems to have a much cleaner history of this little country than does Theroux (though Theroux may be speaking hearsay, where as Wikipedia prefers to deal with reliable facts - though making a statement like that would probably make people's eyes roll - still Wikipedia seems to be a lot more reliable that what it used to be). The thing about Djibouti is that it is located around a natural harbour, which is probably why the French were so keen on acquiring it. However, due to its natural harbour, and its location in the Horn of Africa, meant that it was one of those places where the black market thrived and slaves would flow through the docks. These days the only thing you hear about Djibouti is that the United States uses it as a base to launch fighter planes at targets in the Gulf (as well as a port from which it can send ships out to deal with the pirates that plague these waters).

Somali SoldierSomalia appears in the news every so often: recently due to an ongoing civil war between government forces and Islamic militias, as well as it being a base of operations for pirates that operate into the Gulf of Aden. However I remember back in the 90s when a multinational peace keeping operation, lead by the United States, was sent into the country. The story was that aid conveys were being attacked and robbed by the many bandits that roamed the country, and after images of starving children where plastered across the televisions screens, a huge popular outrage gave the United Nations authority to send troops in to make sure the aid got through. Unfortunately it didn't work, and when the troops landed (to a huge media circus that was waiting on the Mogadishu beach), the bandits basically stopped fighting each other, and started fighting the Americans. In the end the Americans quietly withdrew from the country, and it was only years later where a movie, Black Hawk Down, was released, painting a slightly different picture of the operation, that it re-entered the public consciousness.

MogadishuAnyway, Somalia is a country without any real functioning government (despite what the media says), no enforceable laws, and is basically ruled by tribal warlords. In a way little has changed since the US invasion, and in fact the benefits that the country gained from international intervention are non-existent. It is interesting that there is even a Wikitravel article on the main city, Mogadishu. Unlike other major cities, Mogadishu is certainly not safe, rather it is one of those cities that pretty much all of the scum and lowlife of the world travel through at least once in their lives. Their recommendation regarding travelling through Mogadishu is with an armoured car and security guards, and the major attraction in the city happens to be a market where pretty much any weapon, from pistols to anti-aircraft missiles, are available. Also, as a white person, you will pretty much stand out, and being white you will also be considered really, really wealthy, so unless you can afford some heavily armed bodyguards, this is not the place for the faint of heart.

The Ethiopian Mecca
Theroux's first stop in Ethiopia, other than Addis Ababa of course, was the ancient city of Harar. Addis Ababa actually isn't all that old, having been founded in 1886 by the Emperor Tatyu Betal. It's one of those planned cities, much like Adelaide, and is currently the headquarters of the African Union (and while it sounds like the European Union, it is not - where the European Union is a functioning body, the African Union is probably more like the United Nations, namely a place where the representatives of the member states can get together and argue over basically nothing).

Bete GiyorisAnyway, Harar is a odd city in that it is a muslin enclave in the middle of what is effectively a Christian country. Ethiopia is very proud of its Christian heritage, dating is back to the time of the apostles. In fact, if one is familiar with the book of Acts one will have read the story of how Phillip met and baptised a eunuch, who was in the service of Queen Candice. Mind you, Ethiopia didn't exist as a nation state, simply because the term Ethiopian meant 'burnt face' and referred to the dark skinned inhabitants of Africa. Also, according to Wikipedia (though if I did some more research I could uncover a lot more) this Ethiopian doesn't seem to have a name, and the queen isn't identifiable (though it is suggested that she may have been the Queen of Nubia). However, Ethiopia is still considered to be the earliest country to adopt Christianity as a state religion (even though that is no longer the case). As with many of the ancient Christian regions, there are also some pretty cool churches, including Bete Gyorgis which, unfortunately, Theroux was unable to visit (due to logistical constraints).

Feeding the Hyenas
There were a couple of interesting things that came out of is observations of Harar. One of them were the Hyenas. It appears that these are pretty nasty creatures, and the lurk just outside of the city. While they may be scavengers, they have no problem with taking down a human, particularly the sick and injured ones. It even seems that there is a ritual of feeding the hyenas, since by feeding them discourages them from attacking humans. Talking about rituals, Theroux visited Harar during the time of Eid, and he speaks of how the beggars crowd around the mosques, hoping to catch some of the tithes that are thrown to them. In a way, because Islam mandates that money must be given to the poor, this attracts them all the more, as they hang outside of the mosques eagerly waiting for their share. I guess my Dad was right in that there are poor people who simply know where they can get money, and as such that is where they will congregate.

The other thing that I noticed was that he talked about a word that he discovered here, and that is the word Farangi. Theroux suggested that this is a generic term of a white man, not necessarily a bad word (especially since white people are treated with some respect), but rather a word that is generally descriptive of us. Originally a Persian word, it appears to have come into use across a number of different cultures. In fact it appears to be the origin for the name of the race of wheelers and dealers in Star Trek, the Ferengi. Granted, the word Farang means foreigner in Farsi, however Theroux does describe how as he wanders through the streets of Harar, people will run after him crying out Farangi, Farangi. To me it would be strange, but also makes a lot of sense, because looking out our modern capitalist culture, we are in many cases, very much like the Ferengi. Yet it is true, as white people in a foreign culture we really do stand out. I know the feeling when I wandered through one of Hong Kong's outer suburbs to discover that I was the only Anglo person moving through a swam of locals.

Ras Tafari
It was rather disturbing when Theroux returned to Addis Ababa to discover the true extent of the ivory trade in Africa. As he was wandering around the markets he encountered some Asians haggling (though that is probably not the best word to describe it) over a parcel of ivory. As it turned out this was real ivory from real elephants. It also turned out that these Asians were diplomats and they were moving the ivory back into their country (along with who knows what else - rhino horn) through their diplomatic postings. According to Theroux, these elephant sanctuaries actually do more to encourage the trade in ivory because all of the poachers know where the elephants can be found.

RastafarianOn the journey south Theroux visits the town of Shashamane on the route to Kenya, which happens to be the spiritual home of Rastafarianism. In fact, in this little section of the book I discovered more about Rastafarianism that I had ever known previously. I guess many of us know them as being those guys who have dread locks and smoke copious amounts of marijuana. Well, the smoking of marijuana is quite true, and Theroux was even offered a doubie during his stay. I also wondered how many hippies travel to this remote part of Ethiopia simply because this is a place where smoking marijuana is actually a religion.

However, for those of us who use (or at one time used) marijuana, there is much, much more to the Rastafarians than simply smoking weed. In fact, from what I gathered, they are a pretty fundamentalist sect, almost on par with some of the ultra-right wing churches in the United States. First of all, they are a branch of Christianity that arose in Ethiopia after the coronation of Emperor Haile Selassie I - in fact these guys literally believe that he is God, in the same way that mainstream Christians believe that Jesus Christ is God.

Ras TafariYou know how I said that these guys are akin to an ultra-right wing fundamentalist branch of Christianity? Well, I'm not kidding. You can simply go to Wikipedia and check out the page on the Rastafarians (they don't like being referred to as Rastafarianism because, like fundamentalist Christians, anything that ends with an -ism is ultimately bad). Their religion has some really serious doctrine, and in fact they believe that they are the lost tribe of Israel. If you travel to Israel you will even see Ethiopians running around claiming that they are the lost tribe. I'm not going to go as far as saying that these guys are messed up, simply because they have some serious doctrine in their religion, and if the only thing we equate to the Rastafarians is that they smoke pot, then we have seriously missed the point.

Anyway, this is where I will finish off part 1, if only so I can post it, but I will continue Theroux's journey into Kenya in part 2.

Creative Commons License
Dark Star Safari Part 1 - The Dusty North by David Sarkies is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.If you wish to use this work commercially please feel free to contact me.

Nubian Pyramid source: B N Changy used with permission under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 1.0 Generic
Bete Gyorgis source: Bernard Gagnon used with permission under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported
Feeding the Hyenas source: Alastair Rae used with permission under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 2.0 Unported.
Rastafarian source: Mattstone911 use with permission under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported.

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