BIZARRE ENCOUNTERS IN NAIROBI
Friday, November 10, 2006
Some years ago I visited North Africa -- Morocco, to be exact. It was an amazing place with different sounds, scents and daily rhythms. Such places leave something behind inside your mind, which you somehow always carry around wherever you go.
The same holds for Kenya's fine city, Nairobi. It's my first time in the continent's sub-Saharan region and it's an entirely new place filled with many things so strange and fascinating -- and I'm saying that without having even explored the minutest fraction of Nairobi.
On the main highway, and at least twice along Uhuru road, I've seen immense Marabou storks perched and plying short routes atop trees along the island in the middle of the boulevard. Now, I grew up in Manila and the birds I encounter there usually do not get any larger than my hand, unless they're pigeons or the rare brave falcon soaring on the outskirts of the metropolis (and they're not beings that you can call large). The Marabou storks, they're something else -- they're humongous and they were on the highway's trees and they looked as big as vultures.
Maybe it was just a silly Asian awed by the occasional weird thing. In the world of humans, things can often be more bizarre, actually.
The other day in the UN climate conference in Nairobi, the representative of the Australian government took the floor in a plenary session and beseeched the rest of the delegates to understand empathize with its climate plight. A leading member of the wealthy few and probably the highest carbon dioxide emitter per capita in the world (not to mention the number one exporter of climate-destroying coal), the Australian government continues to play the role of lapdog to the Bush administration with its continued refusal (like the US) to bind itself to dramatic emissions reductions by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, which can drastically reduce the risks faced by millions of lives due to the threat of dangerous climate change... And as if that was not enough, the Australian negotiator in Nairobi even had the gall to compare his country's vulnerability to climate change during plenary to the extreme vulnerability of impoverished, suffering Africa.
It definitely felt freakier listening to the Australian representative plead for understanding than seeing the Marabou stork upfront and personal, a scavenger bird which would probably look cuddly when compared to the hooligan-like behavior of Australia and the US with respect to the Kyoto climate negotiations.
The first marabou photo is from www.zestforbirds.co.za, and the second is from www.harkphoto.com. The last pic is an image of the Australian flag used in the blog post of CAN-Australia coordinator Julie-Anne Richards.
posted by Redster @ 3:36 AM,
- At 4:05 PM, said...
now that is one big bird. big big bird. wow. maybe they should all go and perch and crap on oz prime miniature howard something...
- At 1:48 PM, Anna Maria G said...
hello red, them storks may have been there before the road was. :)
- At 7:00 PM, The Kamuning Republic said...
anabanana! yes, of course the storks have been there before that darned road. i was really floored when I first saw a marabou -- pagkalaki-laki ng birdie na ito! thanks for dropping by! so many birds here in full color but none of them are cooperative. i keep asking them to stay still but they just keep flying off. maybe they're really... birds?