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Wonderings

January 29, 2011

Las Peñitas: Time passes delightfully slowly here. Our days are filled with the ceaseless rolling in of the ocean and the loud squawking of glossy black crow-like birds in the coconut palms. It’s a rare luxury to have days with nothing to do.

We read. Nick has downloaded a kindle programme onto his iPhone, so he has an inexhaustible mine of books. I read the ones made of paper, which I swap for another at the café down the beach once I’ve finished each. I’ve already got through the ones that look readable, so I spend my time daydreaming, wondering. Wondering Gaia.

Our beach

I think of the protesting people in North Africa and the Middle East, from Tunis to Yemen. I wonder if we are seeing the beginnings of a new Fall of the Berlin Wall – it was, after all, some years between Gorbachev’s arrival and the emergence, one by one, of fresh new states. Eastern Europe had Western Europe to help make the transition, and many states, like Czech and Hungary, had a strong, educated populace able to take governance of their country. Alexandria and Cairo in Egypt, Iran, they might be prepared, but what about the peasant states, like Yemen? But, I suppose Romania – with a large agrarian populace – is doing okay. I worry that these protesting people, hungry for fast change, have no prepared strategy for governance after years of political stifling. If their human rights and the needs of all, including the poorest, are met speedily enough to satisfy these long-sufferers, will they become easy prey for another abusive regime?

But, maybe in my lifetime, there will be a genuinely free exchange of people, ideas and culture across the nations of the northern hemisphere. New ‘silk routes’ made faster because of the internet, TV and plane travel. Musings…

The fast-disappearing native gecko with its distinctive orange head. Asian migrants are taking over.

We have fewer than eight weeks left on this journey, and I start to prepare myself mentally for the transition back to cerebral rather than physical wanderings, back to physical rather than esoteric luxuries.

Nick's hat has had enough of travellling now

I was very touched to appear in the fabulous Ed Yong’s post on women science bloggers he admires. Thanks Ed, I’m honoured, and what great company!

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