Inolvidable Cairo

A compilation of tales, thoughts and images from the never-ending adventures...Click on any of the images for a blown-up version. Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Angola...That's not in the Middle East...

Brian took about 6 weeks in the early Spring for an assignment in Angola.

Although I had been there approximately six months before, I was impressed with the feeling of progress that I observed in the capital city. There was a bit more "livability" to the place, and I felt that was a sign of optimism.

After ruthless colonization which only ended in 1975, the Angolans suffered 27 years of civil war, ending only in 2002. In terms of progress, from the levels of devastation that this country is trying to rebound, it is possible to believe that six months of peace time can go a long way to reversing the ravages of civil war, and I felt that I was experiencing that and was glad to be part of it.

Then I visited the province which was essentially the front line for the decades-long conflict. I visited Kuito for one week, and it was like being on the set of the movie "The Gods Must Be Crazy". The city was destroyed, but in a manner very much unlike most of all the modern conflicts of the 20th century. Since neither group had any heavy artillery, they simply spent years firing on each other with Kalashnikovs, and entire buildings (essentially the entire town, as the front line simply shuffled back and forth across the town) were picked apart bullet by bullet, until nothing but rubble remains.

This was a diversion from life in Cairo, no doubt, but one which we feel is important to share. You can see a picture of Kuito's main drag below.

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