Category: Uncategorized

Bansang, The Gambia

Heading back home after two months in Bansang; in the best of hands, twelve years after I first met Yero Sam, and with a license to serve. The hospital soon became family. Medically our ambitions were sometimes limited by resources, but never short of effort and care. Most importantly, there was no distance to the reality in which we all live: a peaceful acceptance of lifes beginning and ending; a faith that this life is only a short prologue.

The 20-minute walk home was a space-out-session. The evening bucket shower under the stars likewise.

Between work, eat and sleep, we were reminded of how to approach life by children, always smiling; at once distanced from our adult life, yet more present to life than any of us.

It’s the rare luxury to be inspired by so many people you’ve met; to be given the gift of sharing their time; to end up truly respecting them more than you respect yourself.

Everything is up-front, bold and honest: curiosity, humanity, injustice, joy. It saturates your mind, and it’s sometimes challenging, but it etches your heart. Even before you leave, you miss it deeply.

The world we live in feels smaller, but so do we. It’s a peaceful comfort that I hope to keep.

Thank you all of Bansang, and especially Yero and Edeny.


Random kids observing the hair-cutting of a foreigner. A weekend visit to nearby town Basse. And since Monday, a rather hectic week as the only doctor 24/7 for the medical clinic. With sometimes late nights, the only open cafe by the main road fills the tummy with grilled chicken and cold spaghetti, and clears the mind with loud reggae and flashy lights. Then back to work.

En miljon högskoleår, men först ett systemfel

“Hur kommer det sig att Sveriges kanske mest högutbildade och därmed kostsamma yrkeskår har sämre teknik på jobbet än vad tonåringar har på sin fritid i ett land med internationellt erkända systemutvecklare? Tänk om vi kunde få skapa något gemensamt i syfte att frigöra dyrbar tid och kompetens till patienterna?”

Like the electron leaving the atom

“You’re like the electron leaving the atom: the force pulling you back the first few days is strong; the excuses to turn back are many, but suddenly one day, the resistance is gone and you are free.”

Space aviation student Théo on his first – but probably not last – touring ride from Toulouse to Helsinki.

Heading home

Heading home after ten days of cycling, camping, laughing, eating, life-analyzing, coffee-searching and tractor-tailing with lovely Eric. Every day felt satiated, long like a week, and not a single one could have been spent better. Touring at its best.

Att drabbas av samhällets oförmåga, och därför söka samhällets hjälp

“Timmen till ronden blir en timme av grubblerier. Jag känner sorg över det bortglömda människovärdet; över hur vi människor kan blunda för varandra. Men mest av allt känner jag en absolut skam. Och jag tänker att vi är många som berörs, men att det krävs mer än tankar och ord för de utsatta människor som ber oss om hjälp.”

Äventyr eller utflykt?

“För några veckor sedan fick jag hålla ett föredrag för ett gäng ungdomar på en skola i Fittja, och på affischer stod det ’Äventyrare kommer till Fittja’. Men vad är egentligen ett äventyr? Är det en svensk som cyklar med dyr utrustning genom Afrika eller är det en Ugandier som kommer oförberedd som immigrant till Fittja?”

Så inledde jag ett radioprogram för Sveriges Radio 2009, och frågan känns fortfarande lika aktuell. Varje gång det skrivs om ännu en priviligierad turist som kallar sig för ”äventyrare” eller rentav ”upptäcktsresande”, eller kallar sin resa för en ”expedition”, så väcks frågan. Vad betyder egentligen orden? Vad ger de för bild av resan, och vad ger de för bild av platserna och människorna som besöks?


Broderskap och systerskap

Broderskap och systerskap i Tensta. Varje dag, på alla språk, för alla människor.

O Pensador, Angola

Homs, Syria

I — a stranger on a bicycle lost on the streets of Homs — asked him if he knew of any internet café nearby. He — a tailor in his early twenties — invited me into his life and his hometown. A couple of hours after our random meeting, we stood in one of his family’s apartments in the outskirts of town, and Masoud handed me the keys. In the unfurnished seven rooms, I was given space and peace to sleep off the desert heat, which had literally satiated my senses.

I stayed for three days. Masoud was busy preparing for his own wedding, scheduled for only a week later, yet dedicated much of his time to the unexpected guest. During daytime, he drove me around to help arrange practicalities ahead of my upcoming cycling to Damascus; showed me more of town and took me to visit his friends and family.

In three days, Masoud etched Homs into my heart. Each time I have seen the news on Syria, Masoud has been right there in my thoughts. I have tried to reach him during these five years, but without luck.

Yesterday — at last — I received words from him. He and his family is trapped since two years in a refugee camp somewhere North of the capital. He tells me how no-one knows the end of it; the time when they may return home and life may resume. His words are as straight-forward and heartful as when I last met him. There are no favours asked — but rather words of common humanity; of feeling blessed by our friendship. Maybe the same blessing that I feel: to know that there is yet somone who is looking for something more humane than what we have.