“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest here only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.” — Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
Over 10 years have passed since I read the 623 pages of his unbelievable autobiography, and this last paragraph is what has always stayed with me.
There have already been many great tributes to this great man and I am sure there will be many more. They will outline all of his amazing leadership qualities, his ability to be compassionate, to find a common language and connect with his enemies, and to be unyielding in his beliefs and his decisions. Sometimes his actions were right and sometimes they were wrong. Nelson Mandela was always eager to point out that he was neither perfect nor saintly. Perhaps by admitting his flaws and limitations, and by offering all of himself to South Africa and the world as just one human, he became a legend.
Now, Nelson Mandela, the long walk is over and you can truly rest.
It’s the third book in a trilogy of which I adored Book 1, enjoyed Book 2 well enough, and was looking forward to Book 3.
Now the internet has basically torn this book apart for several reasons (just read some of the reviews on Amazon) and I agree with most of the criticism. I don’t want to add to the negativity around it for several reasons, not least of which is that it’s damn hard to write a book and I guess I feel for this young author.
But I also value my time as a reader and frown upon wasting time when there’s so much out there to read. So rather than detail my issues with the book, I will just say I wound up skimming most of it and didn’t even finish it. That said, I’d like to think about what I learned from the experience, sort of an effort at making lemonade out of lemons. So in no particular order… Continue reading →
I know a lot of people do look-back’s and resolutions for the new year, but I actually like to take stock of my life and my year on Thanksgiving. I guess it’s the whole nature of “giving thanks” that drives this.
Earlier this week I went to a SoulCycle class and the teacher in a fit of passion (which is a lot of what gets you through a SoulCycle class) screamed:
“You are living a life of privilege, be thankful!”
Given each 45-minute SoulCycle class costs upwards of $30, I wouldn’t disagree. But then she also said, “Living life is a privilege!”. That really stuck with me. Continue reading →
So I didn’t want to write this post until it was official, but now I have a signed contact to sell my apartment, so that’s pretty official!
My home in NYC should be sold by sometime in January (depending on board approvals, bank timing, etc.) at which time I need to put into practice a new definition of home.
I’d originally planned to just move to D.C. and set up a base there, but over the past couple of months I’ve thought more about it. I’m not sure I want to commit to any one city just yet. I’m not sure I’m ready.
So I’d like to play the field a bit, spend extended periods of time in several places like San Francisco, Denver, Santa Fe, D.C., Boston, London, and of course – Africa, specifically Ghana and Congo. Given I can be pretty much anywhere to work, I think I should take advantage of the freedom I have right now and really just be free. Continue reading →
I don’t quite know where to begin, and I think that’s giving me a strange sense of ennui.
I’m still in the Congo and this trip has been overwhelming to say the least. I’ll summarize some of the highlights with photos, but it’s basically been a series of “day after day” days that are so full I often can’t remember in detail what happened yesterday. It’s crazy, considering how uninspired and dull I remember feeling at my old finance job, and even how I sometimes still feel just living in New York City.
I’m still in the Congo, but the broker selling my apartment in NYC found me. Before I left, I had accepted an offer… Nothing’s finalized yet, but it was a good offer, an all cash purchase, and the buyers would definitely get approved by my building’s board. Plus, they could move quickly and act on my time frame which is to move out of NYC by the end of December.
But my broker found me and told me she got another offer on the apartment. This one is not all cash, but is for a greater amount from a an older couple that could have more problems getting approved by the board given their more limited financial situation. But as a former board member myself, I think they could very well get approved. The problem is that given they need to finance about 30% of the purchase, it would take longer than it would with the all cash buyers, at least another month or two, taking me into the first quarter of 2014. Continue reading →
This entire post deviates from the norm with no specific action steps or lessons. All of the ennui and change is internal and driven totally by external circumstances ….
We drove the National Road #1 from Lubumbashi to Kolwezi, the heart of many mining operations in Katanga Province. When I was last here in 2010, NR #1 was mainly a red dirt road that has since been paved almost completely. Much of that is due to a contract a Chinese mining company has with the government of D.R. Congo, where the Chinese are building the road first (as well as other roads in the vast Congo) before commencing its mining operations.
It was a day filled mainly with highlights, including a pounding African afternoon thunderstorm while we sat under thatched outdoor seating.
We are staying at the fairly nice Hotel Manguier in Kolwezi. My room does not have A/C and the toilet wasn’t working initially, but someone fixed it quickly (surprise) and scrounged up a standing fan. Given the much cooler temperatures here, it isn’t bad at all. Quite nice in fact though I refer to my room as “the bungalow” It’s separate from the main wing of accommodations, but all the other rooms were taken so I got relegated to what seems to be a refurbished gatehouse. I’m okay with all this, but before checking in, I did have to ask about the rooster situation… Continue reading →
Wow. I’m in Lubumbashi, D.R. Congo. All the way near the southern tip of the country, close to the Zambia border.
We haven’t even begun to get to the more remote areas of the region, in fact, Lubumbashi is pretty well developed and a pretty cool town at that.
But this morning I woke up at 3:15 a.m. to roosters crowing outside my window. Not my first time with rooster challenge and still not quaint at all.. There’s not another sound outside except the damn roosters… I know I should have gratitude for the role they play in giving us eggs or whatever they do, but right now, I wish someone would go out there and turn that thing into a huge family meal. Continue reading →
Made a good effort to get active while in Santa Fe. I have to thank Studio J for being the anchor in this. I took a slew of their classes over the past couple of weeks, and that was no easy feat! Not only were the classes pretty tough, but I could barely catch my breath in the beginning. I’ll attribute that to the altitude.
But Studio J also gave me a small community. I met a bunch of fun and interesting people, and knew I could become better friends with them. This is part of building a community in a new place, and even specifically for Santa Fe. I’ve already spent time thinking about this… Continue reading →
Red roads of Katanga Province on my last trip to the region.
But I thought on this trip I would tack on two side legs. One to Kenya, and the other to Uganda. The logistics would work out because I need to fly through east Africa anyway to get to Lubumbashi. I’m interested in the tech scene in Kenya as well as a few other innovative healthcare projects underway in Nairobi, but after the shootings at the Kenya mall a couple of weeks ago, my apprehension gauge is high. The second leg would have been to Uganda. A few of the people I work with have a project there and it would be a great opportunity to check out the healthcare system in Uganda. Likely, we would have stayed in Kampala, the capital and not gone off into the Impenetrable Forest. Continue reading →