Short Travel Notes

At my final breakfast at Afex camp this morning two of my colleagues were laughing at some of the silly things people do on the Internet, such as feeding fish and growing crops etc. When I returned to the table with another cup of coffee, they were both staring intently at (I thought) the Nile next to us. Adam noted that, “they are moving at different rates.” Richard replied “and moving in opposite directions. I wonder how they will pass each other?” Adam suggested, “let’s bet on which group goes over the other.” I strained to see what it was they were talking about and could see only the usual uprooted plants floating down the river, all in the same direction.

What are you talking about, I asked. The ants on the string, they replied. Just next to us in the open air dinning hall was a string fence to prevent people from taking a short cut through the garden. Two long lines of ants were walking along the top of the string in opposite directions. Maybe feeding fish on the Internet is not so wacko after all.

On my flight a few hours later from Juba to Nairobi I came across a quote in The Standard (a Nairobi newspaper) that I can’t resist sharing:  “Tanzania’s culture of skepticism and mistrust of Kenya has been going on for over four decades. The late Julius Nyerere, the founding President of Tanzania, once described the capitalist-aligned and aggressive Kenya as a ‘Man eat man society’. [Kenyan] Attorney General Charles Njonjo retorted by terming the then socialist Tanzania a ‘Man eat nothing society.’”

About wcoats

Dr. Warren L. Coats specializes in advising central banks on monetary policy, and in the development of their capacity to formulate and implement monetary policy. He is retired from the International Monetary Fund, where, as Assistant Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department, he led missions to over twenty countries. Before then, he served as Visiting Economist to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and to the World Bank, and was Assistant Prof of Economics at the Univ. of Virginia from 1970-75. Most recently he was Senior Monetary Policy Advisor to the Central Bank of Iraq; an IMF consultant to the central banks of Afghanistan, Kenya and Zimbabwe; and a Deloitte/USAID advisor to the Government of South Sudan. He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the Cayman Financial Review and until the end of 2013 was a member of the IMF program team for Afghanistan. His most recent book is entitled "One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
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