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Still reading The Old Ways, but now I am elsewhere: in Kismayo, Jubbaland, in the South of Somalia, which once housed a Club Med and where I am now paying hundreds of dollars to sleep in a shipping container behind hescos and razorwire in the airport. It is frustrating to know that there is a whole town out there that I cannot see, Italian mansions and broad sand beaches and prawns the size of your fist. When flying in yesterday we banked over the sea, silver-skinned in the late afternoon light, a curl of an isthmus embracing a small collection of islands.

But when you can’t look out, you look up. Somalia has some of the most dramatic skies I’ve ever seen – or perhaps it’s just that I notice them more here. This morning I woke early and the whole sky was freighted with dawn light, clouds heavy-bellied with sea rain and the last stars paling to nothing; this evening I caught the top two-thirds of a perfect sunset laid out in stripes of red and orange and blue above the blast-proof walls. Reading Robert Macfarlane makes me long for distant landscapes, but it also makes me more aware of the small, beautiful things that surround me.

Kismayo skies

Early morning Kismayo

Kismayo skies

Written by Jess

March 9, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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