O'Reilly logo

Brave: 50 Everyday Acts of Courage to Thrive in Work, Love and Life by Margie Warrell

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

—Chapter 9—

The Sahara Desert, which spreads across 9.4 million square kilometres, is larger than Australia and almost as large as the United States. Most years it grows by about 50 kilometres, but during a decade-long drought in the 1980s it grew much faster. I decided to cross it, soon after, in late 1991. Arriving from Morocco on a truck with a group of other intrepid travellers, I crossed into Algeria and then went south across the vast swathes of scorched desert into Niger and on to Nigeria.

Despite having grown up in Australia, one of the most desert-laden countries in the world, up until then I'd never spent any time in a desert. The arid landscape, with its infertile sand dunes stretching nearly 200 metres high and spreading out over thousands of kilometres, was striking. With scorching days and freezing nights, I was in awe of the resilience its nomad dwellers showed against the fierce Harmattan winds, which sandblasted their way across the Sahara at that time of year.

One image still etched in my memory was of an elderly man sitting on an old drum of some sort beside the remnants of a building, which I assumed must have once been his home. Dressed in the voluminous robes and indigo dyed turban of the Taureg people, who have inhabited this region for thousands of years, what struck me about him was that the dwelling he sat in front of had been consumed by the burnt ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required