Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The long road home -- shown in reverse order

These won't be my most beautiful pics, because they were taken from the plane and also because I'm jetlagged and frankly not putting my all into this post :o) -- but here are some scenes from the last 2 days' journey home. In reverse order, because I definitely don't want to end with the cloudy, snowy Boston scene that met us upon arrival!

Arriving in Boston. It was so strange to see this landscape after two weeks near the equator!

It's about an 8-hour flight from Amsterdam to Boston. We had a layover of many hours at AMS,
but lucky for us, Stephanie flies so much that we had access to one of the fancy lounges.
The sun rose while we waited for the plane to Boston.

It's about an 8-hour flight from Nairobi to Amsterdam. We had a day in Nairobi (pictured from the plane) during which
I had the privilege of visiting a Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) clinic in the informal
settlement of Kibera, then, in one of the extreme reversals characteristic of this trip, had dinner at a fancy hotel
overlooking antelopes and giraffes in Nairobi's game park.

Kenya from the plane, approaching Nairobi.

What's this we see out the window while flying over Tanzania on the way to Kenya?

Mount Kilimanjaro! Click to embiggen.

Coast of Tanzania.

Islands around Zanzibar.

Where our long journey home began -- Zanzibar Town, Zanzibar.

Maybe you can understand why I wanted to end this post at the beginning? :o)
I have more things to say about this trip. Especially about the many, many things I didn't photograph. I hope to come back and do that in the next few days, once I'm feeling less crummy.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

February 14: Pan-Universal Be Who You Are Day -- in Zanzibar!

Happy Pan-Universal Be Who You Are Day, everyone! (For those of you who are new to the blog, a few years back I decided to reclaim Valentine's Day and turn it into something else.) Here's sunrise this morning, in the order in which the various colors happened. Kevin, this is a good day to thank you again for Fancy Camera. :o)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Guess Where I Am (Round Two!)

I'm no longer in Rwanda. Can you guess where I am?

In my new location, it would be offensive to take recognizable pictures of people, which means it's also hard to take pictures of, well, anything, except in more isolated areas. So, before I get to the pictures, I'll start by saying that I might have taken a picture of the guy who cut open a coconut for us to drink. I might have taken a picture of cars driving on the left, through narrow, sunny streets. I might have taken a picture of a small, beautiful mosque, surrounded by cows that each had a distinctive hump behind its neck.

In this location, I cover my shoulders and upper legs when I'm in public, out of respect. The population is mostly Muslim and many men wear a fez. People keep trying to match Dave up with me or Stephanie, assuming one of us must be his wife; it doesn't occur to them that we are simply three traveling friends, maybe even with significant others at home. A cheerful man asked me yesterday, when I was wandering around with Dave, "Where are your babies?" Ha!

In this location, it is HOT HOT HOT, but the spot we've chosen is deliciously windy. Yesterday I went swimming in water as warm as a bath.

Ready for the pictures?

On  the way to this location, we had a layover in Nairobi, where we were handed raincoats
before walking across the tarmac in the pouring rain. Some travelers at our gate, however, had come prepared.

This lovely light fixture was in our hotel the first night.

And these flowers at our location thereafter.

Moored along the beach...

Requisite shoreline picture...

The women in these pictures...

...are harvesting seaweed. (Click any picture to embiggen.)

Good place to store the tools.

The tides here are extreme. Here's this tree at low tide...

...and at high.

Sand crabs scuttle past now and then.

When I mentioned offhandedly, to a person native to this place, that
my legs were sore, she asked, "Did you climb the mountain?"

Does it help to play the license plate game again? It's tricky though, because this time, the letter doesn't stand for a nation!


Next, let's get a closer look at that boat....

Did you guess that I'm on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar?
:o) :o) :o) 

Oops re: gorilla post

Note to anyone who was recently looking for my gorilla post and couldn't find it: I accidentally deleted it today. Now it's back, with a different URL:

This lifesaver of a blogpost helped me retrieve my otherwise irretrievable post. In case you're ever in a place with terrible wi-fi and discover, after spending hours uploading and organizing pictures, that you've deleted all your work, go here:

Another Adventure in Rwanda

First we climbed to the volcano.

Jerome and Julie were our guides.

Julie found a chameleon and told us it meant good luck for our adventure.

Then, we entered...

...the jungle.

What's that?



Then we climbed back down.

It would be safe to say we were very happy.

Thank you, mountain gorillas of Rwanda, for this wonderful day.