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Pastoral Nomads, Part Two
Alex Steffen, 23 Jul 05

Nomadic peoples face enormous challenges these days. We've reported before on various efforts (from educational assistance to political organization to technologies like CyberShepherd and Networked Reindeer). Camillo Ponziani attended the recent gathering of representatives of pastoral nomads in Ethiopa, and reports back:

The drive to Turmi is rough and not for the faint-hearted. Our vehicles splashed through rivers and struggled along tracks that were no more than beaten paths, kicking up clouds of dust that blurred the view of the cropped brown grasses and acacia trees of Africa’s Rift Valley. Surrounded by a series of small valleys and breathtaking scenery, our camp was nothing more than a large collection of tents and makeshift showers nestled among a thicket of trees alongside a dry riverbed. Not exactly a palace for a five day meeting, but as one herdsman from Mali put it, "Pastoralists prefer the hotel of a thousand stars to a hotel of five stars."

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