Explorer Mikael Strandberg

Near catastrophy and an angel turns up


What a day, what a day!

Yemen is like a femme fatale. You think you know her, but you never will and you will never stop being both shocked and surpised by her behaviour, but you will still always love her!

Today I called this fella who I have bargained on helping me out in every way, once I make it to Yemen. But he suddenly said he couldn´t help me. The authorities had told him they couldn´t sanction my Expedition. They were scared I would get killed and kidnapped. And my friend, still, said he didn´t want to loose his good reputation with the government. I fully understand this, since he runs an educational institute, which was one of the main reasons I wanted to cooperate with him. To put emphasis on the importance and value of education!

So, suddenly, all my plans was hacked into pieces. But, being used to the mysterious ways of Yemen, I knew of course, that could happen. ButI was hoping it wouldn´t happen a few days before leaving! But, of course, it did! However, as always I have set back up plans in motion and that´s when an angel turned up!


So, so far, I am back on course. At least until I get new news from this amazing country. My helper, the angel, is non-Yemeni. And this is kind of sad in one way, because the angel, she gets things done, the way I need. And, as I see it as a rational Westerner, they way it needs to! She is an amazing angel. She isn´t scared of doing things and she hasn´t that not always good Yemeni worry and freight of taking a desicion in case either your superior or if you don´t have that, your government, will cause you problems. This issue, for example, almost made it impossible on the first part of the journey to put up camp the closer we got to Sanaa, because people along the route didn´t dare to take a descion, a positive one, just in case they would get problems with their superiors, IF something happened. That is the same issue now. They´re afraid things will happen to me. Either I get kidnapped or killed. So, they don´t want to get involved.


Which I understand, but of course believe isn´t good for the future of this amazing country! As you can see I am under some strain and let me tell you, with experience, the stresses involved getting an expedition on board, are enormous and it always knocks you out for awhile once you have made it to the starting point. And, this time is worse than ever, so many things that needs to be solved. New gear, testing equipment and I am still editing the first part of the Yemeni doc, it looks great! Mainly due to Ulrika, the editor!


Ulrika preparing for a speaker

I sleep good now, mainly due to the workings of the angel and my extremely loved family! Eva is always helping me out with figuring what gear is needed! And my wife is the dictionary I need on Yemen! How in earth am going to live without them?


In media about Yemen right now, articles like this and this….

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