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Johann Strauß 2.0

January 27, 2007  

Mitten in einer Diskussion über die kulturelle Kolonisation Afrikas spaziert Petit an unserem Tisch vorbei, den Donauwalzer pfeifend. Ich, als einziger Oesterreicher am Tisch, stolz: “C’est quelle melodie ça?” Petit: “C’est la sonnerie du portable de ma maman.”

Drink Pee, not Coke

January 23, 2007  

pee 1


In Kumasi faehrt ein Zug

January 22, 2007  

In Kumasi ist Markt. Nicht irgendeiner, ein grosser. Angeblich der groesste. In Westafrika. Da faehrt ein Zug. Mittendurch.

Peter (his take) und ich mussten in der Lok mitfahren. Als Strafe fuer unerlaubtes Fotografieren von Eigentum der Ghana Railway Corporation.








Leider nicht zu erkennen: Auf seinem Shirt steht “Oracle World 1999”.


kumasi 8

kumasi X

kumasi 10

kumasi 11

kumasi 12

kumasi XI

Das Horn war seehr laut.

kumasi 13

kumasi 14

kumasi 14


Erinnerungen an ein Hotel

January 22, 2007  

(Ein verspaeter Bericht aus Lomé – wir sind mittlerweile in Ouaga.) Ende der 70er Jahre war ich mit meiner Familie in einem für mich als Kind ziemlich beeindruckenden Hotel in Lomé, Togo. Alles war rund und bunt. Auf einer Fahrt mit einem Prof der Architekturuni Lomé zu für Osafa geeigneten Bauprojekten hab ich’s dann wiederentdeckt, das Hotel de la Paix – in voller Pracht und verfallendem Charme.

Seit den politischen Unruhen vor ein paar Jahren ist es geschlossen und wartet auf einen Prinz, der es wachküsst. Vielleicht fasst sich ja Touristiker Peter ein Herz und leiht sich irgendwo ein paar Millionen aus..? Siehe auch sein Hotel zum verlassenen Frieden.

hotel de la paix


Not getting bored in Africa

January 19, 2007  

As some of the ones who stayed at home start to ask questions when we’ll show up in Ouagadougou and – looking at the pictures here and on Peter’s blog – probably wonder if we’re on a holiday trip, a short update on what we’ve achieved so far:

Both at the University of Architecture (EAMAU) in Lomé, Togo and the Dept. of Building Technology of the Kwame Nkrumah University in Kumasi, Ghana we were warmly welcomed and met local academics who not only gave positive feedback to but are also very much committed to the promotion of sustainable architecture and the use of local materials. In both towns we were shown some interesting building projects that will fit well into the Osafa project database.

In Kumasi we had a very interesting conversation about the impact of official building codes that often disallow the use of local materials and techniques (at least for administation buildings). They were pleased to hear about Cameron Sinclair’s upcoming Open Architecture Network that will hopefully foster the discourse about national building codes in Africa. (Cameron, if you stumble accross this, drop a comment please! I’ll pass on the respective contacts to you by email.)

In Lomé we also met with the director of CCL (Cente de Construction et du Logement) that was founded by the UN and is now financed by the Togolese gov’t, where construction workers are being educated in the production of stabilised earth bricks (red earth plus 14% cement) and subsequent building techniques. (A contact that will especially interest Thomas Granier from La Voûte Nubienne.)

In Accra we had something like a blogger meeting with the bright folks of, a think tank of ghanaians in diaspora, with a close focus on ICT. They are able to help us to “wikify” (=train) local architecture students who then in return can start to document construction projects for Osafa.

Tomorrow we’ll head on to Ouaga (in a 24h bus ride..) where a lot of Laafi– and Osafa-related work is waiting for us.

Hotels und Fußbälle

January 16, 2007  

Peter ist wieder mal viel blogfleißiger als ich, darum hier nur ein paar Links aus Afrique:

Helges Schneider

January 13, 2007  

Am ersten Tag hab ich gleich den Rest meiner Haarpracht eingebüßt, zumindest stellenweise.. Das Ergebnis ein Fiasko, trotzdem unvergesslich, on aime l’esprit de la coiffure la lumière. Mehr bei Peter.

la lumiere


Email problems

January 10, 2007  

If you sent me an email and it bounced back, please resend it to helge [döt] fahrnberger [ät] gmail com. My ISP, dreamhost, seems to have some troubles with spam-blacklists they ended up on. Maybe the day before such a trip is not the best moment to switch hosting providers..

Back online!

January 10, 2007  

A big hello to those of you who stayed subscribed to my blog for such a long time without any updates! is back. Reason, you ask? Minor, actually – the blog software I installed back in 2003 was broken and I was going to fix it tomorrow. For more than a year. Oh well.

Now it’s done, thanks to the fabulous support from Smeidu and Jürgen, who helped me with layout and code.

Of course I haven’t been silent in the meantime, I just blogged elsewhere. I’ve imported all posts I found worth importing, so stroll through the archives in case your day is boring. Or better check out the photos from South Africa that I have added, from the short trip with Conny last may.

Comments are now open again, too – so I guess you know what to do! One more thing: I’ll probably mostly blog in German from now on, with the occasional exception. The German-speaking blogosphere is now big enough, I don’t need to constantly speak to the entire world. Sorry folks! The blog on the site is split to a Sideblog and the main blog (frontpage) – yet it’s just one. If you subscribe my RSS feed you’ll always get everything (long live fewer choices). If you find bugs you may keep them (and there are many still).

And finally: Tonight I’ll be leaving for West Africa. I promise to write a longish what-has-happened-in-my-life-while-I-wasn’t-blogging posting, afterwards.

Einfach nur schön

January 9, 2007  

Warum Handys 22 bis 28 Tasten haben müssen, war mir schon immer ein Rätsel. Dass es auch mit einer einzigen geht, hat mich heute aber doch überrascht. Ich bin sowas von der erste, das das kauft!

Common misspellings: Farnberger, Fahrenberger, Farenberger, Fahnberger, Fahrnleitner, Fahrngruber, Fahrnberg.