What a year 2006.
Beginning of Jan 2007: Back home in Vienna Hasna is huge, has entered the 8th month pregnant with twins.
Back from 2 month in Africa, 5 weeks in Guinea, I know I have been extremely lucky/privileged. It is time to make a step back/think back/ponder as it is so prominently put in H1 on the top of the start page.
2006 has been the year when I married Hasna, and Hasna now is pregnant with twin boys, due anytime.
We were twice in Mali together, once I went on my own. Really I have moved the Land Rover just some 200km from Segou in Mali to Bamako in Mali. Twice I have taken the road from Vienna to Morocco and further through Mauritania and into Mali.
And all the festivals ... Essakanne, Segou, Essaouira. And .. not to forget the Percussion competition in Conakry Guinea. The drums of which are still in my head. 2006 years page.
The Drums in my head. Reflecting on Guinea.
All January, February 2007: The drums from Guinea, the sound of Djembées, don't go away, images are vivid and remain deeply imprinted while I sit here in Vienna and work on the Guinea photographs.
And it strikes me with sadness when on 10th of Jan the news of a general strike breaks. Conakry was so quiet and peaceful in December, with only rumours seeping through about what is being cooked up.
The strike quickly turns into a nation-wide uprising and the countries ailing president Lansana Conté reacts by giving full powers to military commanders to restore order. Martial law in place for a month does not prevent demonstrations and in clashes with security forces some 300 people find death. Is worse still to come?
Eventually a people's choice new prime minister Lansana Kouyaté is sworn in. It has been a 45-day long revolt, 1/03. And as quickly as Guinea has made it into the international news as quickly it also disappears from the radar.
Well, well, well - we only turn to Africa when something fatal, catastrophic is happens. I however intend to return as all I have experienced is a peaceful, embracing, affectionate people.
23 Jan 2007, Ryszard Kapuscinski,
29th of Jan 2007, Daniel and David.
They are so small, don't make a noise, and they're mine (of course they're ours). Beautiful and healthy, we are so happy.
Just a bit more then two kilos each. Tiny, fragile, well a month too early. But they'll be stronger soon. They'll have to eat now, I think. Everything works. Mother's Milk. Hasna is Lady Madonna, rooted in nature.
We will be on the road soon.
Lorena, 27th of February.
More children to our larger family. Lorena is born to Monica and Thomas my brother.
We learn as we grow with the babies. And they grow, become less fragile all the time. Each day requires making decisions. 10 days after their birth we eat out in the restaurant across the street. Since then we have no-more fear taking them anywhere. But slowly we go about pushing the limits.
Daniel and David never cry, I knew it before, they'd never cry. Maybe there is something we have learnt from Africans. All that the infants really need is a full mother's breast, the warmth of intimacy. Well just my opinion ...
End March 2007 London.
Pushing the limits we take to London. It is the twins' first voyage. They are going to be grand travelers one day. They're easy. On the plane, the airport, on the tube, in a China town restaurant, on the outside bench of a pub in Knightsbridge, on the grass in Green Park Dan and Dave either sleep or drink their favourite juice.
First time London for Hasna, like a journey back in time for me and London seems better then ever. The city of a thousand nationalities. Just it takes a good handful of money to live here well permanently.
I meet the friends I neglected for more the 2 years. I even go north to Hartlepool to see my friend Jon perform with his The Pistols Band.
Easter and 21st of April. More from the family.
Now, we'll be on the road very, very soon now.