Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Tag Archive for ‘Ah, Africa’

“Naledi in the the Underworld: A New African Folktale,” by Janet Grace Riehl

When I lived in Botswana during the 1970s, my name in Setwana was (and is) “Naledi”–which means “star.” Although it sounds exalted, it’s not an uncommon name. Here’s how I got my name. During the first weeks of Peace Corps language and cultural training, I asked my teachers if I could have a name in […]

An African Woman’s Wit and Wisdom

I’ve lived so many places in my life that long term friends are precious.They hold the thread of my life. They knew me when and they know me now. Thus it is with Alan and Mary Brody. We met in 1973 in Ghana, West Africa when we were all young. The Brody’s went on to […]

My children, scattered around the world. My father understands.

I never bore biological children, but there’s never been a time in my life when I didn’t have a close relationship with a child or young adult. No kids of my own, then, but godchildren, nieces and nephews, neighbors, friend’s children, and upstairs neighbors. It’s a path not taken that’s no doubt for the best, […]

John Nunley: “There are no straight lines in Africa.”

Africa is all about the undulating line. Linear functions don’t apply.

“Africa is a continent, not a country!”

“Africa is a continent, not a country!” Have you noticed that folks all too often flatten out the mind-spinning variety of African topography, countries, cultures, languages, beliefs, architecture, conflicts, joys and sorrows…by referring to the single word “Africa”? It’s easy to do. I’ve done it myself. But, remember the nuance. Remember the vastness.

African Memories by Mary Trimble

Mary Trimble has two outstanding remembrances of Africa on her blog.

River’s Mercy: African Wilderness

At the Mercy of the River: An Exploration of the Last African Wilderness by Peter Stark “There is always something new coming out of Africa.” –Pliny the Elder

Kenyan Glimpse: Toy Compound Speaks of Home

Click here to go to African Great Lakes Initiative Dear Friends, For me the most poignant time of the day was when we were in the field and I noticed a small toy compound obviously made by the kids. Their toy compound was built solely of dirt, rocks, and twigs! Quite neatly and nicely done—much […]

“Water Ceremonies,” Part II, Africa—a poem by Janet Grace Riehl (Tales from Maun, Botswana; Okavango Delta in Northern Botswana; Kalahari Desert in Western Botswna)

II. Africa Maun, Botswana Afternoons, I teach schoolchildren to swim in the flooded waters of the Tamalakane. Two fingers support wiry bodies that sink every chance they get. “Arch your back! Spread out your limbs! Float! Kick! Paddle!” Until one student travels under her own speed. We collapse on the bank, gasping with sputtered water […]

“Blood Diamond” — Jewels in Zwick’s Classic Film

In Blood Diamond a fisherman, a smuggler, and a syndicate of businessmen match wits over the possession of a priceless diamond. But, what are the real jewels here? The smuggler is searching for a diamond, but finds God in an unexpected series of plot turns that change his heart. The fisherman is searching for his […]