Leaving this week… for Paris, Djibouti and Somalia

Americans don’t usually travel to Djibouti or Somalia. The last time we went, the airline check-in agent said people don’t usually board planes for the Horn of Africa unless they have a crew cut and camo pants.

I am almost ready for my upcoming trip to East Africa.

Today there was a suicide bombing in a restaurant near the presidential palace in Mogadishu.

I leave for Mogadishu soon.

Exciting times.

People don’t understand my fascination with East Africa. And I must admit I am somewhat trepidatious to visit Mogadishu, but it’s something I want. I believe it’s a special place and significant in the political landscape. I believe that to understand the impact of French colonization on the Horn of Africa, it’s important to understand the non-colonized regions of the Horn.

Djibouti is a traditional crossroads, ethically comprised of Issa Somali and Afar in addition to many other people, from Arab to European descent. So I’m curious to see how Somalia compares to Djibouti.

Maybe it’s crazy, but I am very excited to visit Djibouti for the second time and Somalia for the first.

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