OCT '11 - Djibouti Briefly

On the flight in to Djibouti, the miles of dry riverbeds filled with sand are all too obvious.  The drought is quite real here.

I have just a few days here before moving on to Kenya.  Work is good, complicated, and difficult, but with good folks in the Djiboutian Navy.  Always a pleasure to work with them.  Except for the part where I broke three ribs.
Luxury accommodations for foreign travelers

Our hotel is chosen for us by the US Embassy.  It's embarrassing enough to live in such luxury, but even more so when my friends just minutes away struggle for food and clean water.  We've been through all this before.

The road to Doraleh (left) is a poignant reminder as I drive; the road goes for miles and miles through scruffy desert and ends at the sea where my friends live.  I've been here before several times; every time I've been here in Djibouti, actually. 
Kassim and his mom (right) are from a family I sort of know.  They've been gracious in the past, sitting me down and telling me about life in the desert.  Comfortable conversation, but not a lot of laughing.  I've brought a few gifts for the families which they receive graciously.  They appreciate the help, particularly now during the drought and famine in the region.

It's a particular pleasure to find this lady and her family (left).  We first met a couple of years ago through her adult son; nice folks.  Note the smudges on the second panel of the photo.  Those are kid fingerprints on the lens of my camera!  They took a few photos each.

Help is appreciated by folks here.  Times are too difficult to keep your family from suffering from hunger, from abandonment by government, from a sense of helplessness.  We do what we can, each of us.