There were five of us (from MSH) on the Air France flight to Paris. With two colleagues I went on to Cote d’Ivoire, another veered off to Burundi and the fifth one to Liberia.

All flights were full. The one to Cote d’Ivoire, a day flight, was full of young toddlers who did not want to go to sleep and fought the restraints imposed on them. As a result no one was happy, except my neighbor who watched a French movie (Dîner des cons) that made him laugh out loud a lot.

I tried to block the sounds of whining and crying by reading or listening to an audiobook. As a parallel reader I am switching back and forth between a dozen or more books, but the ones that have most of my attention lately are Elena Ferrante’s books (audio) on growing up poor in Naples.

The other book is a recently released historical novel called ‘The House on Lobster Cove,’ by Jane Goodrich. It is about the man and the house he built (no longer there) across our cove. It is the place where Axel’s grandparents (he the gardener, she a servant) met.  The book traces the life of George Nixon Black […] whose life spans a period of time in the US where nearly everything changed: from before the Civil War until well into the 20th century. The book is about the pre-Civil war area in Maine, where the bigotry we see now under our new Trump regime is a repeat of similar sentiments, then focused on the new immigrants and their religion. Moslems now, Catholics then; people from Central America now, Italians and Irish then. The Catholic church in Elsworth Maine was burned and the priest tarred and featured and driven out of town. As they say, history has a tendency to repeat itself. But history it seems is not something our new regime is familiar with. So we repeat.

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February 2017
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