Cowboys, Casanare, Ken Macon discussed on The Christian Science Monitor Daily


Written by Ken Macon for the monitor. Traditions come and go, but the last cowboys of Colombia still find purpose in the centuries old practice of cattle wrangling. The cowboys workday began around 3 a.m.. I remember watching my grandfather and his fellow cattle drivers in rural Columbia gathering under the stars, sipping black coffee and preparing to start their strenuous work in the field. To this day, cowboys still travel Columbia's planes on wild and hardy horses descended from those brought by the Spaniards in the 16th century. Twice a year in man June and November and December, ranchers hire them to tap into their traditional cattle driving practices. They travel across the orinoco river basin in the eastern region of casanare in search of wild cattle. They heard the cattle through song, form a rodeo and guide them through branding and vaccination. But large industries producing crude oil, rice, and oil palm have displaced many ranches, disrupting the heritage of local Yan arrows, or people of the plains. Jano work is a way of life for me, and I'm proud of my cowboy skills. But times have changed a lot, says one cowboy, Oscar Acosta, adding that many traditional young arrows are aging and the descendants no longer preserve the traditions of their parents. Not that that stops mister Acosta, having started his training as a young arrow as a young boy, he still finds purpose in the time honed profession. Now in his 40s he works to carry on the tradition. This story was reported by Natalia angarita in casanare, Colombia for the monitor. Now, commentary from the monitor's editorial board on Ukraine as Africa's inflection point. In the three decades since the Cold War, much of Africa has sought to engage the rest of the world with a certain neutrality. It's people have welcomed investment from China and lately from Russia, for example, while still maintaining ties with the west. That openness was aimed at accelerating economic growth and strengthening democracy. It hasn't worked out that way. The more harmful consequences were in plain view, a new scramble for Africa's vast resources, more corruption and an erosion of democracy. Now, Russia's invasion of Ukraine is prompting African countries to confront not just these vulnerabilities, but also a mindset enabling them. Concern over the war's impact was evident in how African countries voted on the resolution condemning Russia's invasion. 28 of 54 countries backed the measure, most of these were democracies. Kenya and almost every African country was birthed by the ending of empire. Said Martin kimani, Kenya's ambassador to the United Nations, we must complete our recovery from the embers of dead empires in a way that does not plunge us back into.

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