Is it an endearing quirk among European explorers to imagine that every geographical feature they clap eyes on for the first time is in need of a new name, or is it just a plain silly one? As far as I understand it, humans have been knocking around around this part of Africa for — give or take a birthday candle — three million years. The existence of a large wet patch smack in the middle of them had not gone unnoticed. [… Dr. Livingstone] gave it yet another name, in honour of the elder of a tribe of white people on a small island five thousand miles away. Endearing, or silly? I really can’t decide.
Nicholas Drayson, A Guide to the Birds of East Africa: A Novel
[one of the two books I nabbed with astonishing restraint at the Friends of the Library book sale earlier this month]
‘This was a localized cancer, but the cancer has metastasized into a regional crisis,’ said Johnnie Carson, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs. ‘It is a crisis that has bled across borders and is now infecting the international community.’
on the hate-filled threat from Islamist militants that led to the bombings in Uganda
and tensions throughout the continent [NYTimes]