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catching up

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I feel as if Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and half of Wednesday have been completely swallowed by the time-space continuum. It feels good though to churn through my to-do list, answer emails, and generally get stuff done.

I'm still working on Sri Lanka this week and next. I continue to feel a little lost covering a new region, even though it's *my* region. At this point I feel like I could work on pretty much any part of Africa - of course it's a huge and diverse continent, but if I were working on a "new" country for me usually I have a basic understanding to start from. Like if I were working on Somalia I could say that during my time I lived in Kenya I actually have been to Garissa and worked on projects related to Kenyan Somalis. Or if I were assigned to Lesotho I know a bit about the history with South Africa and the HIV rate. But Asia remains a wholly new world. Even my knowledge of the Philippines is limited to family, not policy.

Last night as part of the Arabesque festival at the Kennedy Center we went to see a free performance by B'net Houariyat, a Berber women's group from Marrakech. MoBob came alive during the performance, as did the other Moroccans in the audience, who got up and danced. It was fun, but it was a little weird to listen to viscerally familiar music, which I've really only heard at festivals or weddings, with small fry and goats wandering around, in the relatively sterile atmosphere of a concert hall.
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