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AFRICA, WELLNESS…

Namibia (above) awaits. And so, too, does Algeria. To mark the 60th anniversary of the agreement concluded at Évian by which in 1962 France agreed– finally!- to give up its sovereignty over Algeria, Just World Educational’s Helena Cobban launches an Online Learning Hub https://justworldeducational.org/60th-anniversary-of-the-evian-accords/ This features American scholar and diplomat William B. Quandt, whose first book, in 1969, was a study of Algeria’s FLN.

Girlahead’s husband later wrote The Berlitz guide to Algeria so the country feels close to her soul.  A full-page article in the travel section of the UK’s Daily Telegraph last week is headlined ‘Sun, sand, ancient ruins – but no tourists‘.  The writer, Rob Crossan, reports ‘I hear the kind of silence that only the desert can give you: ominous, without breath‘.

From northern to southern Africa, and more erudite travel words, this time in The Bradt Guide to Namibia, by Chris McIntyre, MD of Expert Africa. All of his Expert Africa team, as you might hopefully assume, know Africa well, have been to the places they feature, and can advise you from first-hand experience. After several very dry years, Namibia’s 2022 rains have arrived and they have been phenomenal – filling dams, flooding rivers, and spreading carpets of vegetation across one of the driest areas in the world. Right now, perhaps the most amazing sight, in the heart of the Namib Desert, is the ephemeral Tsauchab River which has filled and now flooded Sossusvlei, an immense salt and clay pan surrounded by soaring red sand dunes. This astounding occurrence hasn’t been seen for a decade.

Girlahead’s memories of Namibia include buying shoes from one of the many footwear stores in central Windhoek, a few minutes’ walk from the very satisfactory HILTON WINDHOEK, on the Rev Michael Scott Street, and having long talks with the 150-room hotel’s owners, Haddis and Marthus Tilahun. Main memory of the country, however, is flying low over sand dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see: because the caramel-coloured dunes are so undulating it feels like flying for-ever over a non-stop iced chocolate cake.  Down on dry land, on the Skeleton Coast, clamber up the dunes and slide down, as if descending a ski slope that has changed colour.

After all this, you are going to need a massage. Good news!  This Sunday, 20th March, is Massage Makes Me Happy Day. The Global Wellness Institute a 75-minute virtual programme starting 12 noon EST. Participants include Lynda Solien-Wolfe, Founder and Chair of Massage Makes Me Happy Initiative; Kim Collier, Owner Jamu Asian Spa Rituals’; Dr. Tiffany Field, Ph.D., Director of the Touch Research Institute, University Of Miami; Luke Massery, Massage Warehouse; CG Funk, Massage Heights, and Jeppe Tengbjerg, Founder and CEO of The International Massage Association & Founder of The International Massage Championships. Obviously Girlahead’s good friend Susie Ellis, Chairman and CEO Global Wellness Institute, will also be in attendance.

Let us listen again to Susie Ellis, here: