Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's official; Djibouti is next on the schedule beginning in January.  Mid-February for me; via Ethiopia, too.

Yep, that's a camel in the middle of the road there.  You get used to it.

Sunny and warm; the weather in the city today is perhaps typical for New Year's day in the region.  Out in the desert, it'll be a bit different, of course.  By February, I'll have had plenty of winter; Africa will be a pleasant change.

It's a difficult place.  Crime is a problem.  Violence is common.  Refugees from Somalia have overtaxed local resources.  Work is scarce for all with national unemployment above 50%.  It's even higher out here on the edge of the city.  This is Balbala in the photo where some of our friends live.  You can see power lines in the area, but they don't serve the residents.  Few here can afford it.

Many who do have work are just day workers.  A friend of mine is a driver; if there's a load to deliver, he works today and gets paid.  It's hard to provide for your family.  Sweet folks, though, most of them. 

Email yesterday from Balbala; a young man I met a few years ago is married now and has a new baby.  We'd lost track of each other since '09 but will have a chance to reconnect this year.

This is the Horn of Africa where the famine has placed millions at risk.  The port here in Djibouti is where most aid shipments for the area arrive.  It's a harsh place.  God give us a better new year for these dear people.