Carnival time across the Caribbean

by Rashmee

Posted on February 3, 2013


Carnival season is in full swing across the Caribbean Basin and Latin America – Rio’s big day is February 8, Cap-Haitien will party for three straight days, February 10 to 12, Trinidad and Tobago for two (Feb 11 and 12) and today is carnival in Jacmel, Haiti’s legendary, 300-year-old cultural capital. I am headed there … Continue reading “Carnival time across the Caribbean”

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Housekeeping lessons in Haitian Creole – Part I

by Rashmee

Posted on February 2, 2013


I wish it were possible to follow the Erma Bombeck school of housework, namely to do no more than sweep the room with a glance. Alas, dusty Port au Prince makes for much dirt – and work – in the home. So to my rather hilarious attempts at keeping house in Port au Prince alongside the … Continue reading “Housekeeping lessons in Haitian Creole – Part I”

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Drones and UN peacekeeping?

by Rashmee

Posted on January 16, 2013


The excellent Baobab offers prescient insight into the way things might change in the United Nation’s “vast and unwieldy peacekeeping  operations”. UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon, it seems, has asked the Security Council to approve the use of drones over eastern Congo. International opinion, as always, is mixed with the Chinese and Russians reluctant and Rwanda … Continue reading “Drones and UN peacekeeping?”

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Don’t ask where best to be born but where best to live?

by Rashmee

Posted on January 2, 2013


One cannot but be struck by title of The Economist blog “Where to be born in 2013”. In a calculation that “links the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys to objective determinants of the quality of life” across 80 countries, The Economist Intelligence Unit has come up with an entirely subjective list that enshrines Switzerland at … Continue reading “Don’t ask where best to be born but where best to live?”

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Buy a gun at Walmart but not a bottle of wine

by Rashmee

Posted on December 16, 2012


Here, for what it’s worth, is my America-and-guns story. Arriving in this country from the UK, I could barely believe what I found in the local Walmart, near our holiday home in Garrett County, Maryland. I could buy a gun in Walmart any time I wanted; but I could not buy a bottle of wine! … Continue reading “Buy a gun at Walmart but not a bottle of wine”

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The Pocahontas Principle of off-the-grid living

by Rashmee

Posted on December 11, 2012


Slate has kicked off its brand new photo blog (called Behold) with a look at photographer Lucas Foglia’s study of “off-the-grid” lifestyles increasingly being adopted by people in the southeastern United States. It has a lot of rather bucolic and wholesome photographs (children drinking raw goat’s milk straight from the natural dispenser put in place by … Continue reading “The Pocahontas Principle of off-the-grid living”

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The Great American Battle for Principle – and it’s not Afghanistan

by Rashmee

Posted on October 1, 2012


SHARPSBURG (Maryland): We head for Antietam, site of the bloodiest one-day battle in American history, on the very day the news media are reporting the death of the 2,000thAmerican service member in Afghanistan since 2001. Never mind that this statistic seems a trifle stale ( The New York Times reported the 2,000th casualty on August 21  and now, here it … Continue reading “The Great American Battle for Principle – and it’s not Afghanistan”

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Literaturwurst and other good things

by Rashmee

Posted on September 30, 2012


Washington, D.C.: The sausage factory factor in news production. Twiggy in a newspaper dress. The Token Times with job adverts that tick all the right boxes but do nothing to address the core problem of discrimination. Italian poet F T Marinetti’s shocking 1909 manifesto for a future that is free of the past (sans museums), … Continue reading “Literaturwurst and other good things”

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…and the lie floundered

by Rashmee

Posted on October 2, 2011


Sunday, Oct 2, 2011 The first day of the Afghan work week. It’s busy. The Afghan president is hard at work making peace, or peaceful war, depending on who you believe. What are the choices that lie before the karakul-cap-wearing president and his tired country? Peace with the Taliban. Peace with Pakistan. What’s the difference? … Continue reading “…and the lie floundered”

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In the beginning was a lie

by Rashmee

Posted on October 1, 2011


Okay, so this blog starts with a lie. It’s meant to cover 365 days – and nights – in Kabul and the title is in kitschy tribute to Khaled Hosseini, whose ‘Thousand splendid sons’ contains a score of less-than-splendid truths about Afghanistan. But I lied. Today is 365 – 7. Day 358 in Afghanistan. We’ve … Continue reading “In the beginning was a lie”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK