FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Voyage aux Comores

Comoros has grown on me this past year.  

My very first trip to the country was during a muggy-buggy-soon-as-you-step-off-the-plane-you-are-dripping-wet hot week in November 2013.  I was unprepared for the heat and the bugs and the rawness of the country.  Since that first trip, however, the raw beauty and friendly demeanor of the country has worn a soft spot on my heart for the place.  While the country has a long way to go before I can recommend it as a vacation spot--its a nice break from the 'hustle and bustle' of Tana.  

In the superb The Zanzibar Chest, Aiden Hartley recounts climbing a volcano in Comoros and looking down on the island: “the beauty made me catch my breath.”  His description of the beauty there is apt--when I first stopped off the plane I couldn't stop thinking of Kauai's near-identical verdant north side.  

Some links on Hartley's book:

Unfortunately, as one of the poorest countries in the world (an an island at that)--much of this beauty will never be appreciated by the outside world.  Couple this economic isolation with the fact that they have suffered through more than 20 coups since independence and you start to get a sense of the country's challenges

Anyway, I wanted to share some photos/observations from a recent visit.

For insight on Comoran poetry--check out my post here

A great reliable driver.  Laly can be booked directly
 or through the Hotel Itsandra
Who knows how long this airplane has been ensconced in the dirt at the airport?  Same goes for the old helo.
Superb sunsets from the Hotel Itsandra
The port of Moroni

How the fish gets caught

Skys the limit

Belle Plage--if only they could keep the occassional diaper from washing ashore

Inside the boat

Downtown public beach--nice little restaurant not picture on the left

Sometimes the cards don't fall your way

Add caption

Shipwrecked boat--it's since been swallowed by the ocean

What are you looking at?

Le fin du jour

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