So I'm going to Brazzaville! I died a little death of joy when I got the invite from Institut Français. And now, flights are booked, hotel is booked, all I need is a VISA and a yellow fever shot and I'm good to go.
Backstory: I met this so chic and very lovely woman at a presentation I sort of helped my ex-boss with at Frankfurt Book Fair. He half-jokingly, half-seriously told her the next time they needed someone to talk about digital Africa or mobile reading or any of that, they should invite me instead of him. And they totally invited me!
Institut Français is organising a roundtable in Brazzaville on February 16th-17th about "Digital revolutions for books and literature in Africa", during the literary festival "Etonnants Voyageurs". The literary festival will apparently focus on "Africa Rising" which is totally cool with me and I love talking about digital/reading/mobile/Twitter things so I'm very excited. What I am slightly less excited about is my lack of French. I have requested a translator and I really hope he/she is kick-ass because otherwise it's going to be a weekend lost in translation and without that awesome pink wig. I met this cute American MA candidate last night who told me how much she had enjoyed staying in Kinshasa and going over to Brazzaville and visiting Goma and I was just like 'one step at a time, lady'. I don't think I'll be visiting the DRC on my trip.
I'm also half-jokingly, half-seriously concerned about my flights. There aren't any direct flight on the days that I need to be in Brazzaville so I'm flight OR Tambo - Nairobi - Brazzaville on the way there and Brazzaville - Kigali - OR Tambo on the way back. The probleem is that the flight back has a two hour stop over at like midnight, leaving Kigali at like 2am. How am I going to stay awake, y'all? You know 22:30 is like my bedtime. Naturally, I have chosen to take the offensive against sleeping in the airport very seriously and already ordered two books I am dying to read: The Raven Boys and Every Day. Every Day looks so amazeballs that I can't even keen it together thinking about reading that book. Is it wrong that I'm almost more excited about reading it than I am about speaking in Brazzaville? Probably. Do I care? Not really.
Guys, the hotel I've been booked into also looks super-fance and you have to know that luxury hotels are pretty much my favourite place to read. So much for exploring the city...