Sedate day


in Daily updates, Oxford

Oxford by night

Happy Birthday Neal Lantela

As Oxford thronged with tourists, I spent today reading. I belatedly finished this week’s Economist, and moved forward on my books. It was a pretty slow day, really, but a bit of recuperation and a refocusing on work cannot go too badly wrong. I really need to buy whichever Christmas gifts I will be sending back to Canada, though it may be wiser to just buy things online and have them shipped. Postage here is criminally expensive.

This evening, I spoke to my friend Kerrie Hop Wo in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. She has been in Ghana, working for an NGO. Distressingly, she was diagnosed with “double malaria” two weeks ago, though she is now feeling better. Her husband Nolan also got a mild case. Thankfully, she says that she is feeling quite a bit better now. It goes to show the kind of dedication you need to have in order to commit yourself to spending a long period of time in a malarial region. It also increases my admiration of Andras Rozmer, in my program, who has been voluntarily infected with a particular strain in order to test a vaccine.

Along with Astrid’s frightening description of the altitudinal effects of climbing Quilotoa volcano, it’s enough to make me re-think the wisdom of Plan Kilimanjaro 2007. To quote: “[V]omiting, dizziness, headaches, and the craziness that it takes to continue are signs of cerebral edema, and one should descend. Unfortunately, one is then crazy enough to continue.” While I don’t envy her any of those symptoms, I have found her descriptions of various Andean adventures fascinating.

Tomorrow morning, I am having coffee with Sheena Chestnut: one of the eight young women in the M.Phil program. She is at St. Antony’s along with Roham, Emily, Iason, Kai, Alex, and Shohei. She did her undergrad at Stanford and is planning to do her doctorate at Harvard. She strikes me – and many others – as a strong State Department member in the making. We’re to go to a place called Brothers, in the Covered Market, where I have not yet been. Given the hostility many people here seem to have towards Starbucks, it will be nice to know of another alternative.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

alison beta December 5, 2005 at 5:36 am

Hallo. Have settled in well to my new place. I like your picture for today. My parents are talking about going to Mexico for xxxmas, and there’s a good chance they’re not bluffing about actually going. I am trying to get them to drop me off in TO on the way back to see if I can see Peter. I have two essays and two exams to write by the 14th. Then I’m home free.


Milan December 5, 2005 at 9:10 am


Good luck with the papers. It’s a tad amusing to think that you might come back from Mexico to Vancouver via Toronto, which would seem enormously out of the way, but I hope you get the chance to see Peter.

I must be off,


mpi December 5, 2005 at 4:53 pm

A large number of people are coming here from a link inside It’s some sort of gated internet community, so I can’t determine what’s sending them my way. The first person to leave a comment saying what’s going on will earn my heartfelt thanks.

Hilary December 5, 2005 at 10:32 pm

I know I already told you what was up, but I figure if I leave this comment I can earn your heartfelt thanks, and heartfelt thanks are awesome.

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