otherPriorities.com was supposed to become a site for texts and think pieces, written exchange and debate on Africa, the West, and the Rest of the World. It didn’t work.
I will now use it to offer short stories in which I pursue the origins of humanity and explore what has since gone differently in Africa and the West. The stories are based on facts, occurrences, and images from the media and science as well as my personal and professional life as a Swiss diplomat in Africa.
I invite you to follow the evolving story. And a notice to the reader: All of this is eclectic, anecdotal, and apodictic.
My friend in Eliye Springs on the western shore of Lake Turkana, built his lodge in 2007. When we were there in 2013, the most forward palm trees of his beach were standing in the water, and he had to protect the cottages behind them with sandbags. Since he had built, the lake had risen significantly. After the heavy rains of late 2019 and the first half of 2020, he had to give the cottages up and build new ones land inward, up toward the hill behind the lodge. Even the catchment of the Eliye Springs, a cemented pool,
The ‘Oasis Lodge’ in Loiyangalani became my favorite destination on Lake Turkana, for relaxation, well-being, and dreaming – let’s just say, for my soul. Loiyangalani lies on the southeastern shore of the lake, on the foot of Mt Kulal. The first time I stayed there, I had that magical past-life experience again. It was that same feeling I had on the Djibouti train as a young man when, on the way down into the Awash, I conceived Lucy’s call to Africa. And the Oasis Lodge may be the reason for which I decided that the Cradle of Mankind is
Geographically, the Lower Omo River Valley and the Lake Turkana Basin are one area. The reason for which UNESCO lists it as two World Heritage Sites has nothing to do with human evolution. It is due to those virtual lines drawn on the maps in the capitals of countries: Borders. To the East of the northern tip of Lake Turkana, the border between Ethiopia and Kenya is defined. But to the West, it is not clear where the South-West of Ethiopia, the North of Kenya and the South of South Sudan meet. The area is called ‘Ilemi Triangle’, and,