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The Ecphorizer
Tripping Africa George Towner
 

[Online Editor's Note:  This article was originally published as "Ex Editor's Note."]
What ever happens to ex-editors, anyway? This particular one is going to disappear into the jungle - the African jungle, that is, and I hope not permanently. On January 10, Christine Palmer-Persen and I wing off for London and Capetown, the starting point for a land trek from the southernmost point to the northernmost point of the continent.

The southernmost point is a place called Cape Agulhas, about 60 miles southeast of Capetown. With any luck there will be a sign or plaque or something, in English and Afrikaans, that we can pose beside for the camera, all fresh and innocent. The northernmost point is Cap Blanc, not far from Tunis. There we hope to find another sign or plaque, this time probably in French, toward which we can drag our tattered and grubby bodies for another picture.

In between, the road crosses the Zambezi, Congo and Niger rivers, skirts the Kalahari desert but stabs smack across the Sahara, and plunges through steamy equatorial Africa between the end of the Indian Ocean's summer and the beginning of spring on the Mediterranean. It carries us through South Africa, Ciskei, Transkei, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe (sticking close to the train), Zambia, Zaire, Congo, Gabon (if the road hasn't turned to mud), Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Upper Volta, Mali if we have time, Niger, Algeria, and Tunisia.

At least, that's the plan. If the good folk we are visiting start killing each other in large enough quantities that the odd bullet hits a tourist, we will head for the nearest airport. The itinerary still has a few blank spots in it, which we will fill in as we go along. Like, what do you do when Zaire Railways deposits you in Ilebo, on the Kasai river, and the weekly steamer is beached for repairs? But most of it involves regular public transport which people of all colors have been taking for years.

We will not forget THE ECPHORIZER. Runners will be dispatched regularly to the coast with articles for publication. We have even drawn a bead on a few isolated M's to visit along the way. Who knows? Maybe we can peddle a few subscriptions. It will be instructive to discover how many hippopotamus tails we can get for a year's worth of the magazine... 



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Retraction of the Retraction The Editor
The Editor's Wife has forcefully submitted that it was not Tod Wicks who "conceived of the Ecphorizer Gathering while searching for the bottom of a beer glass," as was reported in this space last month.  It was at a staff meeting in a Chinese restaurant that she conceived of the Ecphorizer Gathering while searching for a bean sprout in her won ton soup.  Our apologies to the Oriental community.



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About
George Towner

The founding editor of the original print series started out at Apple computer 20 years ago as a contract writer. He is still there [in 2005] although as a regular employee.

You can read about George's latest book here!

Other articles by George Towner
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