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Archive for May, 2002

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Diamonds And Plastic

Friday, May 31st, 2002


On the way back to Maun Botswana in the Safari truck, Rod explains that the area around Maun is in the fastest growing area in the southern hemisphere because of the discovery of diamonds and with it comes the technology to make plastic-there is paper and plastic everywhere.

Gary says the safari owners have tried to start campaigns to clean up the plastic but the grocery store clerks, for example, will put individual chicken pies in plastic, several of these go into a plastic bag and that goes into another plastic bag at the check-out counter. So it hangs in trees like Christmas ornaments, gets caught in bushes and fences and clutches the sides of the roads. Actually it reminds me of Los Angeles freeways. We get to quickly check email before driving on to the Truck camp.

All over Africa we have seen references to preservation of culture, celebration of diversity and unity in diversity, themes familiar to us as westerners.

May 31 Sitatunga Camp
We hit the showers and camp again that night at Sitatunga. It feels like we are back in civilization again; I fall into George’s arms saying how happy I am to see him again! He loves it. The other riders party in the bar but Bob and I hit the sack as we will be up before daylight to hit the road again.

Fireside In The Delta

Friday, May 31st, 2002

In Maun, Botswana, the overland truck had arranged for a makoro (canoe) safari out in the middle of the Ocavanda Delta. It included a four hour animal walk and swim in a swimming hole but I stay at camp. We discuss the use of the word “togs.” New Zealanders use it meaning a swim suit and the English use it to refer to any clothing.

That night we sit around the fire and the makoro polers entertain us with Hippo stories and magic tricks.

Then I thought of that one dark rainy day in Lisbon, Portugal, months before, when we had been walking through the Columbus plaza. It was empty except for a small group of Black vendors selling dark glasses out in the middle. Curious…because who would want dark glasses on a day like that, I walked up to them. Duh!

“Hashish?” they asked. “What the hell,” I had figured, and bought some. Then forgot about it…until we were sitting around that campfire that night in the ocavanga Delta in Botswana. So I brought it out and offered it to the kids…mostly Brits but also an Aussie and Kiwi couple (Bob and I were the only ones older than 25 on the truck). The look on Rod’s face-Rod the South African trip leader-was horrified. “You had that on you as we crossed all those borders?!” he yelled. The borders only having been Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana. 😉 “Yes,” I sheepishly answered. Then he made the kids smoke the whole bag before he would let us leave the campfire!

I crawl into the tent this night because I am tired of sleeping in dirt and wouldn’t you know it-that’s when the animals all came through the camp during the night-lions, jackals, elephants, zebras and hyenas bringing all their different voices with them. I now realize the polers all sleep around the campfire for a reason…

Okavango Delta By Makoro

Wednesday, May 29th, 2002
The Makoro Trip through the Delta By the time the 1300 km long Okavango, southern Africa's third largest river, enters Botswana from Angola, through the Caprivi Strip in Namibia, it begins to spread and sprawl as it is absorbed by the ... [Continue reading this entry]

AIDS & The Ocavango Delta

Wednesday, May 29th, 2002
t5vdleC6v9bjElbi1QdXwg-2006193161808725.gif Wed May 29-30 , 2002 Can't stop in Maun to check email because nothing opens until 10am. Gary takes us into the Delta on his Safari wagon with two long seats back to back ... [Continue reading this entry]

Maun & Sitatunga Camp

Tuesday, May 28th, 2002
t5vdleC6v9bjElbi1QdXwg-2006193161808725.gif Tues May 28,2002 To Sitatunga Camp near Maun Botswana Up at 5:30 again. Had wieners, eggy bread (French Bread) with honey and canned spaghetti for breakfast. James is doing his usual antic-body stuff ... [Continue reading this entry]

Buffalo Fence & Planet Baobab

Monday, May 27th, 2002
t5vdleC6v9bjElbi1QdXwg-2006193161808725.gif May 27, 2002 We see the 3000km of 1.5 meter high "Buffalo Fence" along side the road on the way to Okavango Delta in Botswana. It's actually a series of high-tensile steel wire barriers ... [Continue reading this entry]

Chobe National Park

Saturday, May 25th, 2002
t5vdleC6v9bjElbi1QdXwg-2006193161808725.gif The border crossing from Zambia into Botswana is at the border post of Kazungula. The truck ride on the Kazungula Ferry across the Zambezi River is not much of a hassle. Rod ... [Continue reading this entry]

Victoria Falls & Rafting The Zambezi In Zambia

Saturday, May 25th, 2002
t5vdleC6v9bjElbi1QdXwg-2006193164953338.gif Sun May 25, 2002 Up at 5:30 for the sunrise micro-light (motorcycle with wings) ride to view the falls and the geologic formation left by them over thousands of years. The half hour ... [Continue reading this entry]

Pioneer Camp in Lusaka

Friday, May 24th, 2002
t5vdleC6v9bjElbi1QdXwg-2006193164953338.gif We pull into camp outside Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. We listen to CNN...TV for the first time in weeks and hear yet another warning about terrorism in NYC...funny-Josh never mentions anything in ... [Continue reading this entry]

New Words In Lusaka

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2002
Otnq3CnZDrMlnlEtEldfpg-2006197135244488.gif In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa your car "hoots" not honks. Hoot, I tell them, is what an owl does! Rod says Geese "honk" and cars "hoot!" We laugh. ... [Continue reading this entry]

To Lusaka Zambia

Tuesday, May 21st, 2002
t5vdleC6v9bjElbi1QdXwg-2006193164953338.gif Tues May 21-22, 2002 Long Drive to Lusaka the capitol of Zambia Up at 5 am again and on the truck by 6:30. Take the whole day just to drive to Lusaka-about 12 hours or ... [Continue reading this entry]

Yellow Chicken Camp

Monday, May 20th, 2002
t5vdleC6v9bjElbi1QdXwg-2006193164953338.gif May 20, 2002 Then to Yellow Chicken Campsite and dinner in the dark. The charming camp, in the middle of a huge 40 year-old German farm, is run by a Brit and his wife who ... [Continue reading this entry]

Zambia Border

Monday, May 20th, 2002
t5vdleC6v9bjElbi1QdXwg-2006193164953338.gif 2002 Rod warns us the roads in Zambia are even worse "shit" than in Malawi-which we found hard to believe but he was right. Most of these roads we are on are not paved. ... [Continue reading this entry]

On The Road In Malawi

Monday, May 20th, 2002
PZmR20gwby0cg19rXgklIw-2006197131657399.gif May 20, 2002 Up 5 am and out 6:30. Most of the day is spent traveling to Zambia. A bridge is out on the road south so we have to double ... [Continue reading this entry]

Time, Walking, Women

Sunday, May 19th, 2002
Time, Walking, Women, Waiting, Matatus and Plastic In Africa these things work together in a synchronous whole says Ryszard Kapuściński in "Shadow Of The Sun." Rattle-trap matatus-minibuses that serve as public transportation-all seats and the space in between and ... [Continue reading this entry]

Malawi Village Walk

Sunday, May 19th, 2002
PZmR20gwby0cg19rXgklIw-2006197131657399.gif Sun May 19th 2002 Village Walk Africa does not really exist. Africa is a geographical name for a continent. Africa is made up of countries but people, especially in rural areas, don�t ... [Continue reading this entry]

Dinner & Dancing On A Mat in Malawi

Saturday, May 18th, 2002
PZmR20gwby0cg19rXgklIw-2006197131657399.gif That night Rod has arranged for us to have dinner at the home of a local family. We each take a bowl and spoon from the truck and are led down a series ... [Continue reading this entry]

Cross Dressing At Kande Camp

Saturday, May 18th, 2002
PZmR20gwby0cg19rXgklIw-2006197131657399.gif Sat 18th 2002 Town of Mzuza We get off the bus and go to the market in Mzuza to buy clothes for the Cross Dressing Party at Kande Camp-we have drawn names of ... [Continue reading this entry]

Chitimba Beach Camp

Friday, May 17th, 2002
PZmR20gwby0cg19rXgklIw-2006197131657399.gif When we pull into the camp compound there are three trucks aready,, and written in huge letters across the sides.The camp bars in Africa are open-air like they usually are ... [Continue reading this entry]

Slave Trade At Malawi Lake

Friday, May 17th, 2002
PZmR20gwby0cg19rXgklIw-2006197131657399.gif We are headed to Malawi Lake which is huge-of Malawi�s 118,000 sq km 20% is taken up by the long narrow lake which nearly runs approximately 500km down the length of the thin sliver ... [Continue reading this entry]

Muzungu At The Malawi Border

Friday, May 17th, 2002
PZmR20gwby0cg19rXgklIw-2006197131657399.gif We stop at a small town for supplies and "toilet stop" near the Malawi border and to spend the rest of our Tanzania shillings...scores of young boys in dirty and unbelievably tattered clothing surround ... [Continue reading this entry]

To Malawi

Wednesday, May 15th, 2002
PZmR20gwby0cg19rXgklIw-2006197125025738.gif May 15th 2002 Jambo! (Swahili for Hello!) Back On The Road-Tanzania South to Malawi We were up at 4:30-no breaky (Australian, English, New Zealander and South African for breakfast) or coffee-and were on the road ... [Continue reading this entry]

Pleasuring In Zanzibar

Wednesday, May 15th, 2002
PZmR20gwby0cg19rXgklIw-2006197125025738.gif We spent evenings on the deck of the Mercury Bar watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean full of fishing boats and beautiful lean bodies swimming in the water. The Mercury Bar is ... [Continue reading this entry]

Tanzanian News

Wednesday, May 15th, 2002
PZmR20gwby0cg19rXgklIw-2006197125025738.gif Picked up a Sunday Observer-local Tanzanian paper in English; lead article: "Reading culture badly lacking" lamented the lack of interest in reading and warning that Tanzania could become isolated and left behind as ... [Continue reading this entry]

Zanzibari Feasting

Wednesday, May 15th, 2002
PZmR20gwby0cg19rXgklIw-2006197125025738.gif Zanzibar's native cuisine brazenly drenches seafood in local aromatic spices. At night, locals gather at Forodhani Gardens, a strip of park on the waterfront right outside the House of Wonders. Before sunset, cooks begin ... [Continue reading this entry]

Poli Poli In Tanzania

Wednesday, May 15th, 2002
PZmR20gwby0cg19rXgklIw-2006197125025738.gif Tanzania Walking around Poli Poli means "slowly, slowly" in Swahili. That is how we are learning to do everything like the others here in this hot humid equatorial country. We stop to buy ... [Continue reading this entry]

Beach Boys In Zanzibar

Wednesday, May 15th, 2002
PZmR20gwby0cg19rXgklIw-2006197125025738.gif Beach Boy Answer to Poverty Beach Boys are a pain in the arse. They don't want to work because they can get more money wearing flip-flops. smoking hash and hustling tourists, the smart young ... [Continue reading this entry]

Zanzibar’s History

Wednesday, May 15th, 2002
PZmR20gwby0cg19rXgklIw-2006197125025738.gif After Independence from Britain in 1963, Dr. Julius Nyerere was Tanzania's beloved president for nearly 30 years until his death in 1999. The cornerstone of his policies were based on the Ujamaa Village, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Stone Town Zanzibar

Wednesday, May 15th, 2002
PZmR20gwby0cg19rXgklIw-2006197125025738.gif May 11-15 2002 City of Stone Town Island of Zanzibar The tropical island of Zanzibar has a more cosmopolitan and warm and open ambiance than other African countries we have been in-more like the islands ... [Continue reading this entry]

Dalla-Dallas In Zanzibar

Wednesday, May 15th, 2002
PZmR20gwby0cg19rXgklIw-2006197125025738.gif Transportation Outlying areas can be reached by taking little numbered pick-ups called dalla-dallas across from the Darajani Market that charge about 30 cents and like the matatus (multicolored buses) are filled literally to the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Overland To Dar es Salaam

Tuesday, May 14th, 2002
PZmR20gwby0cg19rXgklIw-2006197125025738.gif Virtually no cars on the road; only trucks and buses and a few vans. The people seem like they don't see many overlanders; some-mostly women and little children wave-sometimes with thumbs up; ... [Continue reading this entry]

Back To Snake Park

Saturday, May 11th, 2002
The next morning, on the road back to the Snake Park there are small villages and shops; give me pen; give me something; what do you have to give me...the kids yell out to us as we drive past them. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Ngorongora Crater

Friday, May 10th, 2002
Firstviewofcrater.JPG The Ngorongora Crater is a conservation area and National Heritage Site. After breaking camp in the Sarangeti, we drive another two hours up to the Crater rim where we set up camp so ... [Continue reading this entry]

Animal Spotting The Big 5 In The Sarengeti

Thursday, May 9th, 2002
I love the remnants of the Swahili cadence in Victor's English. Giraffe: "It is raining and he is very happy there-he is getting a shower." Bob watching elephants: "This makes you feel badly there are zoos. Topi: lives up to 20 ... [Continue reading this entry]

Sarangeti Safari

Wednesday, May 8th, 2002
There are about 5 people to a car besides the driver. The tops of the vehicles pop up so you can stand up and view the animals and take pictures. DSC00077.JPG Our driver ... [Continue reading this entry]

Merani Snake Park

Wednesday, May 8th, 2002
The second night we stayed at the Merani Snake Park near Arusha Tanzania. We showered and headed to the park bar for a drink and to plug in the electronic equipment for recharging. ArushaBar.JPG[Continue reading this entry]

Maasai Warrior Tribe

Wednesday, May 8th, 2002
Jumping3.JPG Masaaiposing3.JPG Beautiful tall Masaii men and women still maintain their tribal lifestyle and religion-wearing red to keep the lions away from their cows. They live in southern Kenya and ... [Continue reading this entry]

To the Sarangeti

Tuesday, May 7th, 2002
HF0m0NezqDnitkljwNP8lg-2006188104829364.gif A week before picking Bob and me and another 3 people up in Nairobi, the WorldWide Adventure Company had taken about 15 others across the Masi Mara into Rwanda to see the Gorillas. ... [Continue reading this entry]


Monday, May 6th, 2002
In Arusha the truck parked for an hour outside an internet cafe so we all climbed down the five-step vertical ladder to a hundred outstretched hands. Saw a westerner (Brit) sitting by himself at a sidewalk table so I joined ... [Continue reading this entry]

Nairobi to Cape Town Overland

Monday, May 6th, 2002
HF0m0NezqDnitkljwNP8lg-2006188104829364.gif May 5, 2002 We left for the 4000 mile seven week trip in a Mercedes Benz truck overland from Nairobi to Capetown. As Bob suspected there would be, there are 17 kids all under ... [Continue reading this entry]

Terrorism in Kenya

Monday, May 6th, 2002
The U.S. embassy in Nairobi was bombed a few years ago. The U.S. was going to rebuild across town, a merchant said, but now the location is being moved again. Across the street from a local cooperative selling arts ... [Continue reading this entry]

Danger in Nairobi

Monday, May 6th, 2002
We were advised to go nowhere in Nairobi on foot at night. The downtown area is poorly lit and muggings are common. When Bob was here six years ago his trekking outfit arrived late at night. He  had ... [Continue reading this entry]

Discovering African Issues

Sunday, May 5th, 2002
One evening we had coffee in the Hilton coffee shop and just hung around watching the people come and go. There was an international UN conference on urban planning so there were people from all over Africa and the parade ... [Continue reading this entry]

Street Children in Nairobi

Thursday, May 2nd, 2002
The next morning we went out to explore on foot and spent the entire morning dodging begging children. I am an older grandma figure so I get "mama, buy me some shoes-I have no shoes please. One piece of ... [Continue reading this entry]

Nairobi…First Impressions

Wednesday, May 1st, 2002
On April 30, 2002, the plane from Cairo landed in Nairobi Kenya to music from "Out of Africa" (groan) and a horrific monsoon-season rainstorm. A taxi ride to the downtown area that should have taken 20 minutes took three ... [Continue reading this entry]