On a lighter note from Burundi.

A full month after it went to press, it’s dawned on me that I never posted a link here on my humble blog to my first story for The New York Times. A teaser follows:

AS rumors of a failed coup attempt swirled in the muggy evening air of Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, no one seemed inclined to let them dampen the mood.

This was salsa night at Le Kasuku, an eclectic French- and Belgian-inspired restaurant and club. And if the day’s cares in this war-weary nation seemed a bit too much to bear, you wouldn’t have known it from the hips that swiveled across the dance floor.

An incongruous scene? Perhaps, but a Burundian one all the same. Throughout the civil war that waxed and waned in this tiny central African republic for more than 15 years, a spirit of defiance seemed to infuse daily life. “During the war you never knew what the next day would bring,” said a young woman holding a cocktail at Kasuku. “Our generation was not afraid like our parents’ generation. We had to live.”

To read the rest of the story, click here.

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