08 November 2010

things that are making me happy today

1. living at this house, with this cool group of girls.
let's be real, every day isn't paradise, but there are a lot more good days than bad days. we have fun, we eat good food, we vent to each other, we laugh, we cry, we wonder if it's all worth it, then we realize... it is.

2. my sister
This was a picture of us from this weekend, right before the football game. my parents went home, leaving Natalie & I in Athens alone. We sat in some friends club level seats with a blanket and some boiled peanuts, then drank enough to forget how COLD it was in the shade. She's spectacular.

3. Conan's back!

I'm watching it right now. I like him. I like his jokes. I like his attitude.

4. Getting postcards from my mom when she travels. She's sent me cards from Paris, Rome and Brussels. Even though I don't get them until about a week after she's home, it's nice.

5. My new water bottle that has a filter built in, because I don't trust the water from the UGA water fountains. You can call it excess, I call it necessary.

6. Gaining an extra hour to sleep over the weekend.

02 November 2010

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind."

- c.s. lewis.

26 October 2010

stumbleupon & you'll never go back

There's this really cool thing called the Internet... It's KINDA become a big deal and there's a lot of stuff out there. Sometimes, it's hard to know what stuff out there is worth looking at and sometimes, the coolest things on a topic don't come up on the first page of google search results.

with stumbleupon, you customize your interests, add the toolbar, then simply stumble, upon something most likely really cool. Here are some random things I've stumbled upon.

Look at this & this & that. Oh, and this. All potentially useless, yet incredibly cool.

19 October 2010

Safari Video

This is a video I did on iMovie for my Education & Technology class about the Safari in May!

05 October 2010

Athens- The 8th Wonder of the World

Athens, GA has to be one of the greatest towns in America. I feel sorry for people that don't get to experience college here, but Athens is so much more than a college town. it's a hidden treasure, a melting pot of innovation, creativity and tradition.

I'm just going to list reasons i love athens. Tomorrow, there may be different reasons but I don't know what those reasons will be so here:

1. The local businesses create a community. My favorites? Oh goodness. This is going to be longer than I expected.

The Grit, Schoolkid's Records, Your Pie, Agora, Jittery Joe's, Yoguri, The Hub, Masada, 2 Story Coffeehouse, The Grill,

It's kinda like this, in high school when I wanted to study somewhere other than my house, I'd go to Borders, Panera, Starbucks. All of which are fine. When my family went out to eat: Chili's, Longhorn & the like. All big franchises with a big scale mentality. Locally owned and operated places are just... better.

2. Saturdays in the fall, when the Bulldogs play at home.

Ok forget truthfully devestating season we've suffered through so far. Maybe it will get better, I have faith in the potential of shame and the sheer terror Mark Richt is probably feeling at this moment. He's going to make it right. But there's nothing more exciting than seeing the campus & surrounding areas turn into an all out party. The babies sporting UGA onesies, the 70 year old men in suits using a cane to make their way to Sanford Stadium... it's a great thing.

3. It's close enough to everything you'd need in a big city, yet far enough away to feel far enough away. Does that make sense?

In less than 20 hours, I can be in... Marietta hangin with the fam, Downtown Atlanta, the Blue Ridge Mountains, Macon, Greenville, SC, on a plane out of Hartsfield-Jackson to anywhere in the world. Pretty cool right?

4. The history is everywhere you look.

The oldest state chartered university in the country, Civil War memorial, old homes & buildings built so beautifully, the urban legends, and the people behind those legends.

I see why people come to college here, go out to explore the world & end up right back where they started. I don't think that's a weakness or a fault, I think it shows a deep connection and for many, that connection to Athens is real.

30 September 2010

time for a comeback? i say, YES.

I'm thinking about giving this blog thing a second life.

Why did I stop writing when I came home from Africa? From here, the adventure begins, the new sparks of creativity or moments of enlightenment.

It could be just a new song, a story in the news, a trip or a simple picture but I'm going to keep it up.

Here's a few pictures from Tanzania that I never uploaded in the summer.

31 May 2010


I want to say thank you to all the people that have been reading my blog over the last few weeks. It's been strange not being able to experience this trip with the people I love the most, but by writing I feel like I'm not alone!

I love this country. The 'hakuna matata', 'poa' attitude are a wonderful change from the fast life of America. I've been trying to think about what I've learned, trying to sum it all up but I can't. I asked my friend Hunter who has been to Africa before what it feels like when you come home, like, does it feel like a dream? or does it feel as real as it does right now? He said it only feels real when you allow it to change your life for the better. So thats my plan. Try to incorporate a bit more 'hakuna matata' into my vocabulary and my heart.

We said goodbye to the6 or 7 people that are climbing Mt. Kili this morning. Big hugs, no tears. I mean.. we all go to the same school. I'll see them in the fall. The remaining 3 of us got dropped off in downtown Moshi, bought some last minute gifts (Let's just say I've contributed nicely to the Tanzanian economy...) then walked 30 minutes from downtown to the hotel. Some kids ran up to us along the way saying 'Mzungu! Give me chocolate! Give me money!' I gave them tic tacs. A few weeks ago I would have been scared to walk on the road without a guide, but we did it, without hassle or (a large amount) of fear. It's progress.

It's 2:30 right now, we're leaving Springlands at 6:30. Then we have a 1 hour stopover in Dar Es Salaam, then to Amsterdam.

I have to write a 6 page reflective paper for my African Studies class and 30-35 pages for my Intro to Anthropology class by mid July. Did you forget that this was a STUDY abroad? I feel like I have a lot to write about, but page 28 will probably kick my butt.

When you see me around, remind me to keep that hakuna matata attitude please. I'll smile and think about the last few weeks and remember it's a reality, not a dream.

Kwaheri rafiki!

30 May 2010

seeing giraffes 10 feet away never gets old

We left Zanzibar on a little plane with just our 15 or 16 people. The air was harder to breathe than in a big plane. Flight lasted about an hour and a half. When we landed in Arusha, the three girls that had been working in the orphanage for the week were at the airport to meet us. It was like a little reunion. We went to the grocery store--- Shop-Rite, to get food for the safari. I bought some nutella, 3 bottles of water and sour gummy worms. Only the essentials. The Nutella ended up being a hit at breakfast on our pancake/crepes.

In Arusha, we went to a Snake Park and saw all these snakes that have killed people. Literally by swallowing them whole. They protected the snakes, some owls, tortoises and alligators. I got a picture with a harmless snake around my neck. Then we went to a Maasai museum. The Maasai are a group of people that live in Africa. They’re straight up warriors. They only eat goat, sheep and cow’s meat, milk and blood. Oh, and before lions became endangered, men used to kill lions and bring back to head to the family of the woman he wanted to married. They just use spears and knives. The Maasai are polygymous and they don’t understand why a man can’t marry more than one woman in America. Our response was…. “It’s against the law.” Bizarre but over here, polygamy is very common, especially in villages where women can die in childbirth. If you have more than one wife and one dies, there will be others to look after her children. Life’s just different over here. I bought some necklaces from the Maasai women and rode a camel. They’re A LOT taller than a horse.

We had a 2-3 hour drive to the Highview Hotel. We drove on really curvy roads in the dark, but the Hotel was like a beacon of light on the side of the mountain. The hotel is owned by Zara Tours, the same company that owns Springlands Hotel we stayed in Moshi. The company also guided us on safari, set up camp and will some of the group up Mt. Kilimanjaro. Staying at Highview felt familiar because it was so similar to Springlands. There was a group that came and danced after dinner. I only stayed for about half of it because I was TIRED. It had been a long day.
On the 25th, we left the hotel for the Ngorongoro Crater (ON-gore-ON-goro) to start the safari WOOOO HOOOO! I had just finished reading a bunch of articles on baboons for Anthropology, and then we saw about 30 on the drive to the crater. It was awesome to see them behaving just like the readings had described. That’s the thing about study abroad--- you can read about baboon behavior or Muslim/Christian relations in Zanzibar all you want, but seeing it with your own eyes is so much more rewarding.

We stayed at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. Oh man, it was like a ski resort with nice fireplaces and big leather couches, just with no snow. The view was breathtaking, overlooking the whole crater. The temperature was in the high 50’s, SOOO NICE compared to the hot and humid coast. The crater is a collapsed volcano so the soil is really fertile and everything is green and beautiful. We saw rhinos, warthogs (Pumba in Swahili!) antelope, cheetah, hippos. I got about 200 pictures within the next few days. We spent the whole day in a land cruiser with a pop up top. I wish I had bought some binoculars because we had to share, but hakuna matata.

The next day we headed to the Serengeti. One of our teacher thats been going for 10 years said she had never seen the grass because of rain, which is awesome because the animals stay longer instead of migrating to find water.

Our camp was LEGIT. showers in the tents, glassware at dinner. The tents were like the tents in the 4th Harry Potter movie at the Quiddich Cup. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. We rode around all day-- about 3 or 4 hours at a time. I'd like to know exactly how much time I've spent in a car this month.

I'm back at SPringlands Hotel in Moshi today. My flight to Amsterdam is at 9:30 Monday night. Then I'll meet mom dad & nat there. I'll write more tomorrow. I can't believe this trip is so close to being over. I've loved it so much, but going home will be so great.

23 May 2010

quiet day

Tomorrow we're flying back to Arusha (i'm trying not to be worried about the flight) to meet up with the students working in the orphanage. From there, we're heading to the parks. Crazy that I'll be leaving in about a week. So I'm not sure how good internet access will be in Arusha, and I doubt it will be available in the tented camps. So, if I don't write, it 99% likely will not be because I got eaten by a lion. Isabella was afraid of that.

This morning, a few students went to the Catholic Church to try and compare it to the Friday prayer service. It was Pentecost Sunday, so the service lasted 2 hours, all in Swahili, or Latin. Probably both. Later, we went to the far eastern side of the island to see seaweed farms. Beach was beautiful. The finest sand I've ever seen so I brought a bottle back with me. Tonight will be our last dinner in Zanzibar, and I'm a little sad. I really like the atmosphere here, but I'm ready to see the lions and tigers and giraffes in the Serengeti.

Congratulations to everyone who graduated!! It's very incredible to think I was in that place last year. It's been a tough year, but here I am--- 100000000 zillion miles away from home. I don't think I could be here if I hadn't already been pushed to the absolute limit this year. Anyway, I'm gonna go get ready for dinner. Hakuna Matata

22 May 2010


Zanzibar used to be an independent country, but became a part of Tanzania after a revolution in the 60's. We're staying at a hotel called the Tembo Hotel. It's awesome. You could look it up online, I wish there was a way for me to upload pictures, but I don't have a way to put them on a computer. Hotel's right on the beach, crystal clear water with our balcony overlooking the pool. There are a lot of tourists here, so everything is more expensive, relatively speaking of course. For example, there was this beautiful nativity set that I saw in Arusha and got quoted 50,000 Tanzanian shillings for it. In Zanzibar, the guy told me 170,000 shillings. I can't believe I look so stupid. I rolled my eyes, laughed and walked away. You can't be a sucker in this world.

We went to the food market in Zanzibar on our first day here. It was gross. Meat was hanging from hooks in the ceiling and there was a little room in the back where chickens would go to get their heads cut off. I walked by this one door and saw a cow head, eyes open, just laying on the table. FREAKED ME OUT. I had curry vegetables for lunch that day. I guess its better knowing where your meat comes from, than having cows that see nothing but the inside of a factory their whole lives.

The Sultan of Oman ruled Zanzibar for a while, and his palace is still in the middle of town, along with another large exhibition building called the House of Wonders. These building have the potential to be incredible works of architecture, but there's hardly any money to fix them to mint condition. They can't just call up a company or trust fund to sponsor a renovation, so that was a little disheartening too. I tried to just look past the leaking ceilings and imagine what the palace would have looked like in its glory days.

Freddy Mercury was born in Zanzibar. Yes, THAT Freddy Mercury from Queen. He has a restaurant in town so 5 of us went the other night for dinner. They only played Queen. It was awesome.

We went to a forest on the west side of the island that had red colobus monkeys. They were very cute, and very unafraid of people. The little monkeys wrestled around on the ground while most of the grownups watched in the tree tops. I could have stayed and watched them all day, but no such luck. Later that afternoon we went to the leading NGO for women development in Zanzibar. We met with the Chairwoman of the National Progress for Women. She looked like she was about 40 but was 55. Incredible lady. She talked to us about the problems faced by women in Zanzibar, it was a very interesting lecture. My roommate might even come back next summer and intern with her.

There's an associate dean from UGA visiting and reporting on the Study Abroad program. Pretty sweet deal, he's spending the summer traveling around the world staying in the nicest hotels in the cities. I'd loathe him if he wasn't so nice. Plus, he invited us to his swanky hotel for drinks a few night ago. Did I mention the legal drinking age is 18 here? But few people drink because it's against Islamic law. Jersey Shore was on TV later that night.

Yesterday, we went on a tour through spice farms in the country. I got to see cinnamon, lemongrass, ginger, cloves, vanilla, ylang ylang, saffron, jasmine and a few others growing. It was really neat seeing how it looks before the spices get in the grocery store. Cinnamon, for example, comes from the bark of a tree. Once you dry it, it rolls up into sticks. Cool right?

Went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch yesterday, then watched the 2nd game of the Celtics/Magic series. Never would have guessed I could do that in Africa. Last night at the old fort with dancers. Had a good time.

We just got back about an hour ago from snorkeling off one of the small islands around Zanzibar town. I get overwhelmed in water, as some of you know :/ so snorkeling has never really been my thing. Remember SB 06 Nat? haha But I gave it another shot, with life jacket on, of course, and I got to see some really cool coral in the reefs. Coolest part, I got some pictures underwater. (THANKS FOR THAT BAG, DAD! IT WORKED!) The camera in general is just awesome. I've gotten some of the best pictures but the underwater ones are really nice. We got to the island in this 10 passenger wooden boat with a small motor. Waves were a little intense on the way there but it was fine. A storm started coming in while we were out, so we started heading back to town, but got stuck in this HORRIBLE downpour. For about 15 minutes, we couldn't see any land around us. I was starting to feel very anxious but then we saw another boat, and reached shore soon after. It's still raining, but my computer times up.

19 May 2010

If I decide to become an ex-pat, you can find me in Zanzibar

So I realized I haven't really given any descriptions about the group I'm with. I'm in Tanzania with the African Studies Institute at UGA. I applied in December much to my mom & dad's initial hesitations because I mean really, Africa isn't the number one place a parent hopes their little girl will go running off to. Good thing I flew, and I promise, I'll be home in less than 2 weeks. Weird that much time has gone by already. There are students in the Maymester program. I'm the only rising sophomore, 3 boys and 6 girls. There are 3 other girls that are in Tanzania with UGA and they're meeting up with us in about a week to go to the parks but they're primarily working in an orphanage in Moshi. We have 2 professors here plus Dr. Moshi, the program coordinator. She's kinda a big deal around here. She's also a professor and used to be Head of the African Studies Institute, has 2 Ph.D's, used to teach at Stanford, and has been bringing UGA Students to her home since 1998.

Sunday morning we went to this outdoor museum in Dar that celebrates all the different tribes that make up Tanzania. We basically looked at 22 different recreations of huts and villages, real size. Really interesting seeing how people used the materials they had available to create their homes. It was blistering hot, as is every day on the Indian Ocean near the Equator. Duh.

After we were all hot and sweaty and gross we got to go to the Ambassadors House. Like the United States Ambassador to Tanzania's house. It was AWESOMEEEEE. I drank tea and ate cookies on china with the seal of America gold-plated. We talked to the Ambassadors Wife and his Chief Deputy for about an hour. It felt like home, just with soldiers with guns at the end of the driveway. No big.

Went to take a walk on the beach about 3 miles from the main port. Ew, bad idea. There was trash everywhere and it smelled like sewage, because basically, it is. Not a place to build sandcastles, but there are incredibly nice beaches in Tanzania. Just google it.

Yesterday we drove to Bagamoyo. Its a town about 2 hours north of Dar es Salaam but it feels like a world away. A majority of slaves that were sold to Middle East came through the port so we saw the ruins of the old fort that belonged to the Arabs and then the Germans. We also went to the ruins of a town from the 13th century. Pretty spectacular. There was a mosque, a few houses and a bunch of graves. There's also a well right outside the mosque that people come from far away to drink from or bottle because it never changes volume. You can take a gallon from it, but it never increases or decreases, even in the rain. Scientists came in and tried to find the source but had no luck. All the water around it is salty, which makes sense because the well is about 200 meters from the ocean.

For lunch, we went to the Bagamoyo Beach Resort . It was just really incredible. I felt like I was in the Caribbean, but the palm trees were better. Then we headed back to Dar, packed up because we left this morning for Zanzibar. I called Mom Dad & Nat (MISS YOU!) and woke up at 5.30 ughhhhh.

We caught the ferry to Zanzibar at 7 AM. There were so many people at the port, all asking to help us with our bags, but then they ask for $5 when you get to the ship. Everyone's trying to make a buck. We got to see the sun rise, which is always nice. A nice encouragement for those that have to start the day so early. The ferry ride was about a hour and a half. Our group sat upstairs in the open air. Less likely to get nauseous that way.

THEN we dock in Zanzibar and oh man, this place is sweet. I feel like I stepped into Ancient Arabia, or some exotic bazaar. The Arabs and Africans have lived here without (almost) any conflict for centuries. It's about 95% Muslim, but Christians are here too, no issues. I'll write more about this place later because we'll be here for a few days but I'm basically in love.

Other things:

My roommate had malaria. She got medicine and is fine now, after about 4 days. It's not contagious but I didn't want to say anything until after she was 100% better. In Africa, malaria is so deadly because people can't afford the medication (about $70). So people use preventative measures, like nets, to lower their chances. If you can afford medicine and you get diagnosed early, not a huge problem.

LOST. My favorite show of my older teenage years is ending on Sunday. For those that just rolled their eyes in disdain, just stop reading. But for the REST of you that understand how great this show is, understand my pain. All the internet cafes don't have flash, so I haven't watched the last 2 episodes, nor will I be able to watch the 2.5 hour season finale until June. If I were home, I would be having a huge party for whoever wanted to come. Maybe serve Lost-themed food. Probably not. Then the show would end , not all questions would be answered, but I like the idea of watching it at the same time as everyone else in America. So, consider yourselves invited to my post-finale party in June, when I finally figure out how that polar bear got on the island. And if you spoil it for me, consider yourself dead. Only half kidding.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMMAW!!!!! I'm sorry I didn't get to call you today. I hope you have a great day. I love you very much.

I'll write more about the intrigue of Zanzibar tomorrow.


16 May 2010

saw a chicken cross the road for the first time. my life felt complete.

The main thing i've had trouble with over here is the logistics and infrastructure. It's something I take for granted at home-- paved roads, internet, air conditioning. It has been pretty awesome though, just living rugged and simply. Of course, we're staying in one of the nicest hotels in Dar Es Salaam, so I'm not complaining at ALL.

Being in a market in Tanzania is quite an experience. Over here, I'm a mzungu, or Nini mi mzungu, a white person. I get stared at a lot everywhere we go, which is not something I enjoy, but I'm getting used to it. The markets are where people buy almost everything. In the small towns, there are no department stores, or grocery stores. So the markets are the center of life. You buy clothes (mostly used tshirts, most from America. A lot of college or touristy tshirts, sweatpants, underwear, LOTS of shoes) electronic items (fans, batteries, radios) and of course food. The food over here tastes great. Bananas, for example, are 100x better than in America. Oranges over here are green, which is the completely natural, just a different variety. And my favorite--- mangos. We have mangos every morning, and sometimes even mango juice. I don't know what it is about the mangos here but they are also 100x better than in America. Always at the right ripeness and FOR SURE not 2.99 a pound. Rice is a staple. I eat rice at every meal and other than that everything is steamed with spices. Green beans are fantastic, carrots, chicken, beans, spinach, sweet potato, cabbage. So no, I'm not starving in Africa. At the Springlands Hotel every meal was buffett style, which was awesome. Springlands was like a home. The owner Mama Zara (all women are Mama) has this incredible tour company with 2 hotels. Great lady, so is the staff. I kinda miss it now that we're in the big bad city with pollution and traffic. Not as many trees here.

Anyway, we hiked to a waterfall the other day that was in the foothills of Kili. Its really breaktaking (literally its hard to breathe) when you're standing below a 50 foot waterfall. Later that night consisted of reading my Contemporary African Studies textbook and summarizing chapters. Yes, I unfortunately actually AM doing academic work.

Friday, I stepped WAY outside my comfort zone and went to a mosque for Friday prayer service. I had bought a ketanga (the 2 piece cloth worn on the head and as a skirt) in Arusha, but putting it on and wearing it was so bizarre. Our entire group went to the service- 9 girls and 3 boys went with our bus driver from Zara and his family. His two daughters helped all the girls get dressed then we got split up, men and women because in Islam, they don't pray together. So we went upstairs, and did the ritual of cleaning your hands, feet and face then sat in a large empty room and listened to the sermon through a speaker. Every woman was staring at the mzungus, especially when it came time to pray. The service lasted about an hour and I didn't understand anything that was said. Mostly I just sat there thinking, mostly about how grateful I am that I have the freedom to practice the religion of my choosing. It was a very humbling experience, especially as the nonsubmissive woman that I am. There was a grace to it all that I appreciated though and I'll never think that Muslim=Terrorist (not that I did before this, but many people do. In Tanzania, Christians and Muslims get along peacefully) because the people were very welcoming and respectful.

After I took my katenga off, we went to lunch and then to the local Coca-Cola bottling plant. Now THERE'S SOMETHING I was familiar with :) All the bottles over here are glass, so there's a whole warehouse of glass bottles that get cleaned and sent back out with a new bottlecap and some good ole coke (made with real cane sugar, not that fructose corn syrup junk). They produce about 7 drinks, some made in America, some not but the factory, landscapes and labs were really top notch. Atlanta should be proud. Plus, they gave everyone in the group Coke World Cup tshirts and hats. For the rest of the night, we just packed for the trip to the coast. We have to pack very lightly because we're taking a plane from Zanzibar back to Arusha for the safari in about a week.

So Saturday morning we woke up at about 5, had the usual breakfast of potatoes, mango, crepes and juice. The whole trip, we've been driving around in a 25 person bus but because of the length of the trip and quality of the roads, we took 2 safari Land Rovers instead. We left Moshi at about 6.30 and got to the hotel in Dar at 5.30PM................ yeah. Long trip. but, I saw some of the most interesting things I've seen the whole trip. It was like 11 hours of slideshow pictures. 90% of the houses were mud huts and the other 10% were 1-2 room cement buildings. We drove around beautiful green mountains, saw farmers harvesting their lush plants and all around simple, raw, life. We stopped twice for gas, once for lunch. The last 2 hours, we were on a dirt road. It was pretty bumpy, 1 lane in most parts. Then as we were approaching Bagamoyo, a coastal city with a big Italian population, we hit a paved road that was done by the Italian goverment because of its bad condition before. After about another hour in traffic, we got to the hotel.

The hotel (Protea Hotel) in Dar reminds me of European hotels. The rooms, bathrooms, lobby and services are all very similiar. Plus WE HAVE TV. We have a buffett for breakfast and lunch then a crazy big menu for dinner. Dar is a very culturally mixed town, as is most of the East Africa Coast because of the influence from the Middle East. Its a predominantly Islamic culture, though I did see a bunch of people heading to Church earlier this morning.

This morning, we went to a textile co-op. A man that had been in the textile business for 20 years created this company with his wife and about 12 other employees. They used handlooms to make beautiful fabric thats made into clothes, tableclothes, sheets and numerous other things. I bought some fabric to make pillows. Mammaw, get ready to teach me to sew :) Its really inspiring to see peoople like that couple that use their skills to teach and help other people in the community. Every little bit counts.

Over here, people love Western entertainment. In the paper the other day, I read a story about Sandra Bullock and the 'real mom' from the Blind Side having lunch. Like really....... is that necessary? Pictures of Jay-Z and Mickey Mouse are everywhere but bigger than anything else is President Obama. People have huge murals of his picture with the American flag and other patriotic symbols. It's a really big deal for the people over here, who love America, that he's our President. We went to the mall today to get some stuff and I literally felt like I was in America. Everything was in English. There were two department stores and about 20 others, like a book store, pharmacy, tech shop, clothing, banks. There was a movie theater where Iron Man 2 and Robin Hood were playing.

By this point, I'd hope you're thinking the same thing I'm thinking... It's really hard to describe Africa. As soon as I think its all thatched roofs and elephants, I hear Lady Gaga singing in the market. That's something that makes me smile and shake my head at the same time. How good is it that other cultures are slowly permeating through here? Luckily I have more time to think about that question.

I just wrote a lot. I'm kinda tired now. Maybe I'll go watch American Idol, it's on TV in about 15 minutes.

14 May 2010


I've been trying to figure this blog thing out. Apparently, I've been saving drafts instead of submitting posts. so... this was what I meant to submit on Friday morning:
The internet has been down since Tuesday at the Hotel in Moshi, but I've had an awesome few days.

We have to go to our classroom facilities in about 10 minutes, but I'll write more later.

Finally saw Mt. Kili yesterday. She hides behind the clouds almost all the time but the sky was clear yesterday. It was more majestic than probably anything I've ever seen. Glad I'm not climbing it though, maybe I'll come back in a few years and do it. Anyone with me?

We went to Arusha, a big city in Tanzania, on Wednesday. We went to a mosquito net factory. They make about 2 million nets a year. Its called AtoZ and yall should look it up online. President Bush, Bono, the Price of Belgium have all toured the facilities and given millions of dollars through US Aid, Malaria No More and UNICEF place orders through AtoZ to be delivered throughout the continent. They employ about 7,000 people, so they're helping the people in two ways.

The Lion King is a fairly accurate portrayal, at least as far as language goes. Simba means lion, Rafiki means friend, Hakuna Matata means no worries.

10 May 2010

A suitcase would be nice

i've been wearing the same 3 shorts and 2 shirts for 3 days. hopefully it will get here later today. its 12:45 PM on Monday.

Mom, sorry I didn't call you to say Happy Mothers Day. Phones are more complicated than I expected.

Learning a lot from Dr. Whitney & Dr. Simon.
Went to the jungle yesterday on a 3 hour walk, with security of course. I saw some monkeys in the trees. They're scared of people because they used to get eaten but they were very cute.
There was this tree in the jungle that was 51 meters tall. Reminded me of the tree in Pandora.
I had the best banana I've ever had in my life for breakfast this morning.

My bag just got here. YESSSSSSSSSS.

If you're reading this, comment. I'm feeling a little irritated about taking time to write if no one cares.

Asante. (that means thank you, so I've been saying it a lot because the people are so nice)

09 May 2010

this place is paradise

the hotel is beautiful. the birds woke me up at about 7 AM, and I didn't mind a bit. my luggage got left in Amsterdam, but it's being sent on the next flight and will be here later tonight. It's totally fine though, everyone is letting me borrow the things (like bug spray) that I need. Luckily I had clothes and necessities in my carry on.

It was about an hour drive from the airport to the Springlands Hotel. The people that work here are so warm and friendly. I've never felt humidity like this in my life. Slept with a mosquito net over my bed last night. It's definitely not 'roughing' it at this hotel (i had scrambled eggs and pancakes for breakfast) but its very different. Its 930AM right now. We're about to head to an orientation session.

08 May 2010

The people are lovely

in Amsterdam. Everyone has been really friendly and this airport is awesome. I'm still waiting on the rest of my group to get here from Atlanta.

It's very strange being in a foreign country alone but I like it. I feel really free.

We'll get into Kilimanjaro at about 2230 local time. I have 50 seconds left on my internet card so byeeeee

07 May 2010

Never a dull moment in new York

I'm in New York right now, waiting on my flight to Amsterdam. There was an evacuation in Times Square because of a suspicious package. Turns out it the box only contained water bottles. Those threats are a little more scary when they're just across the river. Anyway, I'm so excited to be going to Tanzania! This is going to be the trip of a lifetime. My flight to Amsterdam leaves at 3:50, and there I'll meet my group.

I'll be gone until June 1st, and between now & then I'll be on a safari, in markets, craters, beaches, cities and learning from some of the most knowledgable people in Tanzania.

We will be flying into the Mt. Kilimanjaro airport, and staying in the cities of Moshi, Arusha, the capital Dar es Salaam, the island of Zanzibar then off to the Serengeti for a few days. Another place I'm really excited about is the Ngorongoro Crater. Look it up. Or, just wait a few weeks for me to tell you all about it.

Off to fly the friendly skies.

Departure Eve

So, it's pretty late. I'm not finished packing, but have no fear. I will be ready to leave for the airport at 0700.

Dad & I are flying to JFK, then I fly to Amsterdam and meet up with my group. Flying standby has many perks, the virtue of patience one of them.