Friday, February 8, 2013

The Ringtone and the Drum

by Mark Watson

Traveler's advisories or not, there is no way I will ever travel through West Africa. My idea of a breathtaking adventure is to negotiate an international airport without a phone or facility with the local language. Lucky for me then that Mark Weston and his tireless wife Ebrun have undertaken the journey.

Mr. Weston's book is West Africa 101. He sheds light on that which seems dark and overwhelming in its complexity and foreignness. He's eyes on the ground in places I can't imagine much less hope to understand. With computer at hand as I read, I got visuals on the dusty villages and the people therein as the author chronicles conversations over endless coffee at yet another dusty streetstand.

Best of all, Weston segues easily from the personal to the historical and the geopolitical, a skill not necessarily demonstrated in such travelogues as his. I hope he continues his writing career--I'd go virtually anywhere with him.

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